Manchester United are edging closer to the signing of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, with the Red Devils having agreed a deal in principle to bring the 28-year-old to Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been looking for a top-class operator to partner Harry Maguire at the back for some time, with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly struggling to live up to expectations over the course of last season.
However, the Norwegian boss appears to have finally solved his dilemma with the imminent addition of Varane.
The central defender is now primed to leave Real Madrid after a decade of service to link up with United ahead of the new campaign.
The Spanish giants have accepted a package of £42million including add-ons, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
Meanwhile, Varane has fully agreed personal terms over a long-term deal that could keep him on United’s books for up to five years.
He will reportedly join the Red Devils on an initial four-year contract, but the club will have the option to trigger an additional 12-month extension that would see the defender tied down until the summer of 2026.
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Varane is expected to fly to the United Kingdom later this week in order to complete the formalities of his move, but the Frenchman will face a short delay before he can sign on the dotted line.
The World Cup winner and his family will require visas to enter the country, while a mandatory period of quarantine will prevent the deal from being rubber-stamped for at least a few days, according to BBC Sport.
United are widely expected to officially unveil Varane next week, with his medical now said to be the only obstacle holding up proceedings.
The former Lens man clinched 18 major trophies during his time in Madrid, including four Champions League wins and three La Liga triumphs.
He played a hugely important role throughout the previous campaign for Los Blancos, who were unable to prevent Atletico Madrid from sealing the Spanish title on the final day with a slender margin of just two points.
Varane’s impending move will see him become United’s third summer signing, with forward Jadon Sancho and goalkeeper Tom Heaton already in the door.
Meanwhile, former Premier League midfielder Darren Ambrose recently hailed the club’s achievement in landing Varane, but suggested that Atletico’s Kieran Tripper could be the missing piece of the jigsaw for Solskjaer in defence.
“They did need to improve in that area,” the former Ipswich Town and Crystal Palace man told talkSPORT.
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“Harry Maguire has had a fantastic Euros, so he’ll come back full of confidence.
“But to have someone next to him like Varane, a World Cup winner, multiple La Ligas, Champions League. Again, I think four Champions Leagues.
“He’s a winner, he’s still young, still only 28. So £40m plus add-ons, if that’s true, is an outstanding price that they’re getting him for.
“In terms of defence, if they can get potentially Trippier with rumours of him as well that’s going to come in. We don’t know what will happen, whether he will be a back-up or whether Aaron Wan-Bissaka will try and move in and play three at the back.
“But you’re looking at a fantastic defence there. If you’ve got three of Maguire, Wan-Bissaka and Varane, that looks unbeatable at the moment.”