Patrice Evra reacts to Manchester United signing Raphael Varane

Manchester United have confirmed they have an agreement in principle in place to sign Raphael Varane.

Even while rumours swirled, actually signing Varane rarely felt possible. A report by the Athletic claims the club even felt a few days ago that it wasn’t looking likely.

In that same report, United legend Patrice Evra is asked for his thoughts on the deal.

He played with Varane at international level for France and named the former teammate the 28-year-old reminds him of.


“Varane reminds me of Rio Ferdinand,” he said. “Great with the ball, great in the air.

“He’s the complete centre-back. I remember my first game with the French national team and I was so impressed.

“He was so young yet so good with the ball, so fast and his anticipation was perfect.

“He’s calm with the ball and he can score too. It’s a top, top signing for Manchester United.”

Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Many United fans might have expected that Varane would end up signing a new contract. We’ve been there before with Sergio Ramos.

It felt unlikely that Real Madrid would lose both Ramos and Varane in the same summer but that’s what’s about to happen.

Impressively, United will pay just £34.2 million plus add-ons for the central defender.

Evra’s glowing review only adds to the feeling that United have pulled off a stunning deal.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.