It never really felt like Raphael Varane was a viable transfer target for Manchester United.

Despite encouraging claims from the Mirror and the Athletic that Varane was a player United were looking at, the Real Madrid star always felt a little out of reach.

While our concern was that Varane would renew his contract with Real Madrid, an even worse scenario is now threatening to materialise.

Spanish newspaper El Confidencial reports Varane will reject Real’s final contract offer, and plans to sign with Paris Saint-Germain instead.

 Raphael Varane reportedly wants PSG
Raphael Varane reportedly wants PSG (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

A return to France with PSG is said to be Varane’s only priority. United’s interest is known to him, but he wants to return to Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

So United will look elsewhere, and this is where it gets extra tricky, because Real Madrid are also in the market for a centre-back.

Potential double blow

In addition to missing out on Varane, United could miss out on a second target to Real too.

El Confidencial report Real Madrid have two names on their list, both of who are interesting United.


Real are keen on Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and Villarreal star Pau Torres.

Both players could step up a level with a move to Real while remaining in La Liga and could be tempted.

Kounde was reported by The Mirror and ESPN to be high on United’s list, although this has gone quiet over the past month or so.

Torres impressed in the Europa League final against United and was reported by The MEN to be interested in a move.

Pau Torres impressed in the Europa League final
Pau Torres impressed in the Europa League final (Photo by Pablo Morano/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Real can’t sign both and so there is hope for United, but it is certainly going to be more complicated with them as competition.

They have signed David Alaba on a free transfer already, while questions remain too over Sergio Ramos’ future with his contract set to expire at the end of this month.

Varane has one more year remaining on his contract but Real will be tempted to cash in and use the money for one of Kounde or Torres.

United may be left looking at who is left over. Alternatively the club will pursue another target altogether. Our guess when we made our squad prediction for 2021/22 last week was that United will end up going for Brighton defender Ben White.

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