Manchester United are expected to turn their attention to signing Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane now that they have finally struck a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
The year-long saga is finally nearing its end after United agreed to sign Sancho for a fee of around £73m, with Sancho penning a five-year contract with the option for a further season.
It’s taken an eternity, but United have seemingly got the job done, and now they can switch their focus on to other potential signings. According to The Telegraph, it’s Varane who is sitting pretty at the top of their shopping list.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes finding a centre-back partner for Harry Maguire is the most-pressing issue on his Sancho-less list of things to sort out, and Varane is billed as the priority target for United this summer.
The 28-year-old Frenchman, who has been on United’s radar since before he joined Real in 2011, has continued to reject talks over a new contract at the Santiago Bernabeu in search of a new challenge, and United are keen to give him that.
The main stumbling block for this one is his price tag. United have already been knocked back with a £50m bid for Varane, with Real holding out for closer to the £80m mark – an enormous fee for a player in the final year of his contract.
Nevertheless, the Manchester Evening News state that United are ‘gradually making progress’ in their pursuit of Varane, whom Real would prefer to sell this summer to raise money for their own spending spree.
Should a move for Varane collapse, United are expected to turn to Villarreal’s Pau Torres, with The Guardian claiming the 24-year-old is actually Solskjaer’s preferred target.
As well as a centre-back, United are pursuing a new central midfielder, with the likes of West Ham’s Declan Rice and Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka touted as potential targets.
There is even still some hope that a new striker could come in. Tottenham‘s Harry Kane remains the first-choice target in that position, but Edinson Cavani’s contract extension means a new striker is no longer a priority.