Why Man Utd need Varane more than Man City and Liverpool
Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has again been linked with a move to the Premier League and Manchester United.
According to Sport, the Frenchman has identified England as his next destination after electing not to extend a 10-year stay in the Spanish capital.
A World Cup winner with three La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues on his CV and just a year remaining on his contract, Varane’s availability should be prompting a scramble for his signature
So why is Old Trafford considered his most likely destination?
Man City not in desperate need
It is not just that the Portuguese has brought his own, numerous qualities to the Etihad Stadium, he has improved players around him as well.
John Stones has looked like a new man since Dias’ arrival, and the pair formed the meanest central defensive partnership in the Premier League this season.
Having seen his team concede just 32 goals in winning the title, it is hard to imagine Guardiola is desperate to bring in Varane.
Liverpool looking elsewhere
Liverpool’s season was defined by injuries at centre-back, with the absences of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip contributing to a disappointing title defence.
However, they have rejected the opportunity to sign January loan arrival Ozan Kabak on a permanent deal worth £18m and won’t be pursuing Varane either.
The Reds’ strict wage structure means a move for a more experienced option such as Varane was never really likely.
Man Utd need Maguire partner
The loss of Harry Maguire to injury has dominated the build-up to the Europa League final but Manchester United were already eyeing additions in defence.
The Englishman’s £80m price tag has resulted in his occasional errors being magnified and his recent consistent form going somewhat gone under the radar.
But it is the position next to Maguire that should be considered problematic, with both Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly failing to they deserve to be a long-term option.
The Red Devils conceded more goals than Liverpool (44 to 42) this term, despite the latter ending the season with their sixth and seventh choice centre-backs in the team.
If they are to follow up a second-placed finish with a Premier League title challenge, then signing Varane would be a good place to start.