Manchester United are ready to spend big bucks to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid in this summer transfer window.
Varane has been in and out of the Real Madrid side ever since signing for them in 2011, which in turn has been a problem. The France international wants to be a certified starter for Real Madrid, or else he might look at pasture anew.
This upcoming season, with Rafa Benitez at the helm, is seen as the make or break one for Varane, who has reportedly asked for guarantees that he will be a regular player in the starting XI, and not only when one of the first-choice centre-backs gets injured.
With the situation still not entirely resolved, Manchester United are reportedly looking to make a move. According to Madrid-based newspaper Marca, Manchester United enquired about the availability of Varane during the club's negotiations with Real Madrid over the inevitable David De Gea sale.
While Manchester United seem resigned to the fact that De Gea will join Real Madrid sooner rather than later, it looks like they will have to wait a while before they see Varane coming the other way, as Real Madrid's answer to the question was in the negative.
Real Madrid are reportedly not willing to sell Varane to any club at any cost as they see the Frenchman vital to their future.
The same newspaper says Real are ready to give Varane the step-up he has been craving and make him an integral part of the playing XI.
Benitez is a defence-first kind of manager, so, much will depend on how his players perform in the early stages of the season. While the coach's powers are of a diminished capacity at Real, there is little doubt that Varane will be able to hold down a place in the Real XI only if he performs according to the defensive standards expected from the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager.
Varane has certainly shown plenty of signs of becoming a world-class defender, and the more he plays, you feel, the better he will get. His obvious talent is the reason why the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have kept track of his progress, but it does look like a mountain way too high to climb for any club at the moment to prise the 22-year-old away from the Bernabeu.
Louis Van Gaal, however, is expected to make a major central defensive signing this summer, with Mats Hummels and Nicolas Otamendi the names most extensively linked.