Madrid find replacement for Man Utd target Varane

Carlo Garganese

Real Madrid have earmarked Jules Kounde as their successor to Raphael Varane, who is looking increasingly likely to leave this summer.

According to widespread reports in Spain, Varane has rejected a new contract offer from 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.

Will Manchester United sign Varane?

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.

The World Cup winner is high up on the shortlist of Manchester United, who will sign a top centre-back this summer to partner Harry Maguire.

The Daily Mirror and other outlets in England claim that Varane’s agents are preparing to meet with Man Utd next week to discuss the transfer.

Madrid would demand at least €60 million for the 28-year-old.

According to Mundo Deportivo and AS, they would then use these funds to sign Sevilla defender Kounde, who is their chosen target to replace his fellow countryman.

Kounde has developed into one of the most admired centre backs in Europe since joining Sevilla from Bordeaux two years ago.

Sevilla have made it clear that Kounde will not leave unless his €80 million release clause is met, and there is also interest from a number of other top clubs in the 22-year-old.

Kounde admits he will probably leave

Kounde admitted earlier this month during a pre-Euro 2020 press conference at Clairefontaine that he will probably leave Sevilla this summer.

“Regarding my future, it is certain that I will perhaps have to change clubs this summer, but nothing has been finalised yet,” Kounde stated.

“I have not decided anything. My goal is to play in a big club to try to always progress and to win trophies. I might have to move, but that’s not relevant today.”

“I have not decided anything. My goal is to play in a big club to try to always progress and to win trophies. I might have to move, but that’s not relevant today.”][]}

Kounde was named in France’s Euro 2020 squad and will be hoping to help Didier Deschamps’ men to a European Championship and World Cup double.

He has made 88 appearances and scored six goals during his two seasons at Sevilla. He made his international debut against Wales earlier this month in a 2-0 win.