The route is now clear if Man Utd wish to sign a veteran tipped to have a major impact after a report detailed several suitors who have fallen away.
Man Utd have been linked with major names across every section of their squad this summer. The ongoing pursuit of Jadon Sancho has soaked up the most ink. But their quest for defensive reinforcements has also been detailed.
The Harry Maguire-Victor Lindelof partnership has long been deemed inadequate for a side hoping to challenge for the Premier League.
As such, the Red Devils have been tipped to bring French colossus Raphael Varane on board.
The Real Madrid centre-half is facing an uncertain future at the Bernabeu with new boss Carlo Ancelotti expected to ring the changes.
Varane’s usual defensive partner Sergio Ramos has already departed as a free agent. The 35-year-old recently broke down in tears after detailing the bizarre circumstances surrounding his exit.
Nevertheless, despite his age, Jose Mourinho has tipped Ramos to have a major impact wherever he moves next.
Chelsea’s acquisition of Thiago Silva has set a precedent. It showed experienced and elite centre-halves can operate at the highest level despite their advancing years. Furthermore, Mourinho believes Ramos is even more suited to the Premier League.
As such, both Man Utd and Man City had been rumoured to be interested in snapping Ramos up.
Now, the Sun (citing Spanish outlet AS), has revealed that Man Utd are leading the race by default after Man City – and several European heavyweights – were all ruled out for varying reasons.
They note that Ramos was offered to Man City earlier this month. However, Pep Guardiola is content with his options at centre-back and has Fernandinho as a last-ditch option should injuries strike.
Ramos previously ruled out both Barcelona and former club Sevilla. That left PSG as one of few interested clubs capable of paying Ramos’ high salary demands. But per the article, they too have dropped out.
As such, Man Utd now have all the leverage in negotiations should they follow up their interest with an approach.
Man City willing to smash transfer record
Meanwhile, Man City are so ‘desperate’ to land a long time Man Utd target that they are prepared to break the Premier League’s all-time transfer record in the process, per a report.
The Aston Villa talisman emerged as a Man Utd target last summer when it became clear a Sancho deal would not be struck.
The Villa talisman has developed into one of the Premier League’s most must-see players. His maverick displays have seen him become a poster boy for England’s Euro 2020 hopes, and per the Telegraph, a transfer target for Man City.
Via the Mirror, they report that Man City’s ‘interest is the most firm’ this summer.
Furthermore, they declare that Man City are so ‘desperate’ to acquire Grealish that they are willing to go above the £89.3m that Man Utd set the league’s transfer record at in 2016 for Paul Pogba.