'Varane is not too old!' – Ex-Man Utd coach urges club to go 'all out' for defender
Manchester United have been urged to go “all out” and sign Raphael Varane if they think there is a chance of signing him from Real Madrid.
Nicky Butt, who left the club earlier this year after a long spell in various coaching and academy roles, has rejected concerns about splashing significant cash on a 28-year-old.
He feels Varane could be a huge difference-maker for United alongside captain Harry Maguire in the centre of defence, making him worth spending a large transfer fee on.
“For me, next season has to be about getting some silverware back in that trophy cabinet for Manchester United,” Butt told Ladbrokes.
“It’s about getting the right players who will allow you to challenge for trophies.
“It’s a winning club, so we can’t go this long without silverware.
“The biggest thing that needs addressing for me at Manchester United this summer is that centre-back position; we need a partner for Harry Maguire.
“It has to be someone that’s going to be compatible with Maguire.
“If you spend the kind of money you did on Harry Maguire, you then have to follow it up by bringing someone in who can play with him.
“He’s the club captain; Victor Lindelof is too similar to him. It needs to be someone with pure, blistering pace, someone who can play out from the back.
“Everyone talks about Raphael Varane. I understand he’s a little bit older than most people would perhaps like, but you just have to go back to the days of Teddy Sheringham.
“I think we bought him when he was 32, and we went and won the treble with him. If Varane is available, then I’d go all out for him.”
Will Real Madrid sell Varane?
According to widespread reports in Spain, Varane has rejected a new contract offer from Real Madrid.
Having already lost Varane’s long-term centre-back partner Sergio Ramos ahead of next season, the Blancos are desperate to extend the Frenchman’s deal that expires in 2022.
Varane has been offered an extension until 2024, with the option of a further year, but is understood to be considering a new challenge after a decade in the Spanish capital.
Madrid would reportedly demand at least €60 million for the 28-year-old, though a report this week suggested United had been quoted an even higher figure (£70m) that had given them cause for concern.
According to Mundo Deportivo and AS, Madrid would use any Varane funds to help them sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, who is their chosen target to replace his fellow countryman if the experienced stopper is to leave.
Madrid are also in a difficult financial position after the coronavirus pandemic and would not want to lose the centre-back for nothing in 12 months' time.
Man Utd want silverware and Varane has won plenty. He has three La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns to his name for Real Madrid.
Varane also won the World Cup with France and is now hoping to add a Euros title with Didier Deschamps' men.
What has Varane said?
Varane was asked about his future prior to his involvement at Euro 2020 with France.
He typically remains tight- lipped on the matter, but he did not do much to appease any worries from Madrid supporters over his decision.
Varane said: “This is not the time to talk about my future, I am focused on the selection, on this Euro, it is normal and logical to ask the question and for my part it is normal and logical to focus on the upcoming deadlines.
“We are all human beings. We can think about it. As for my personal case, I am focused on the objectives that we have in the France team, it is not a subject that I will discuss every day in my room at Clairefontaine.
“I am focused on my goal, and now is not the time to discuss it. If I have to talk about it, it will be directly with the people concerned.”
'No need for Man Utd to sign Rice’
While he likes the idea of United signing Varane, Butt is less keen on the prospect of a big-money move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.
The England international has been linked with Man Utd and Chelsea.
Butt, though, is not sure he represents an upgrade on Scott McTominay and questions the need for another option in the position.
He continued: “I think Man United are solid enough in midfield.
“I keep hearing things about Declan Rice, but is he a better player than Scott McTominay? I’m not sure.
“I think with McTominay, Paul Pogba and obviously Bruno Fernandes, we’re in a good place in the middle of the park.”