Man United target Varane at Madrid preseason


Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane reported for preseason training on Friday as Manchester United continue to push for his transfer.

The French centre-back, Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos underwent medical tests at Madrid’s training ground in Valdebebas and joined the team in preseason training in today’s session.

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Varane, whose contract at the Bernabeu is due to expire in June 2022, is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top defensive target and United are understood to be closing in on his signing.

The Premier League giants have been negotiating personal terms with Varane but have yet to begin talks with Madrid to agree a transfer fee.

Varane, 28, completed his 10th season with Los Blancos before featuring for France at Euro 2020 and has turned down offers to extend his stay in Madrid beyond next summer as he is keen to leave for a new experience, preferably in the Premier League.

Madrid already lost a defensive stalwart with Sergio Ramos, who joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent after 16 years at the club and six seasons as captain.

Real Madrid’s first summer signing David Alaba said he would like for Varane to remain at the club.

“Of course I would love to play with Varane,” Alaba said during his unveiling on Wednesday. “For many years he has played excellent football and not just now. He is a wonderful defender and has great qualities.”

While Madrid would prefer for Varane to remain, his departure would help the club to cut their wage bill while also raise funds to rebuild the squad.

Funds are limited at United this summer after the club already committed £72.9 million to sign winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

United want the deal to be completed in time for Varane to be available for the Premier League opener against Leeds on Aug.14.

Varane is not the only Madrid player whose future is up in the air as Bale, 32, has returned to the club after spending one season on loan at Tottenham Hotspur and has one year remaining on his contract.

Meanwhile, Madrid announced on Friday that forward Karim Benzema had tested positive for COVID-19.

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