Raphael Varane is once again linked with a move to Manchester United.
It’s easy to be sceptical when a Real Madrid player is linked to Old Trafford when his contract is winding down. It usually ends up with a renewal.
The MEN report Real are prepared to cash in on Varane if he rejects their latest offer of a new contract.
Whether Varane, 28, is the best possible option for United is open for debate. Is he past his best, or can he still be a valuable contributor?
Here is a look at five positive aspects Varane would bring to Manchester United.
Another durable centre-back
Varane has been a stalwart in Real Madrid’s defence and has no long-term injury concerns.
He has started 24 out of 25 La Liga matches this season and started 32 last season and 31 the year before that.
With Harry Maguire an ever-present in United’s defence, the pair could forge a partnership which is rarely disrupted.
A leader and a winner
Varane would bring leadership to United’s defence, and he has won the lot.
He has four Champions League medals at Real Madrid and three La Liga titles, and while he had Sergio Ramos alongside him, he did not when he won the World Cup with France.
Varane played a key role in France’s 2018 World Cup victory and his winning attitude could help a United squad which needs to reach the next level and win trophies.
A player with considerable experience
It’s not just what he has won which makes Varane a top player, it’s how he has done it. At international level he has 70 caps to his name.
Varane has 351 appearances for Real Madrid, and more than 80 Champions League appearances.
He is a player who has seen it all, and he will not be daunted by stepping into the Premier League.
A defender who is good in the air
United would be buying a player who is strong in the air. Varane averages 2.4 aerial duels per game, more than any Real Madrid defender including Sergio Ramos (2.0).
This shows Varane’s willingness to take responsibility in key situations. He recently scored a header in Real’s win over Huesca last month.
A clean player
Varane is not a centre-back who recklessly slides into challenges and gives away needless free-kicks.
This season Varane does not have a single booking to his name in La Liga.
In fact in the last three La Liga seasons, Varane has only received two yellow cards in total.
This illustrates his strong reading of the game and good judgement of when to make challenges, for the benefit of himself and his teammates.
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