Raphael Varane is reportedly touted for a summer departure from Real Madrid. The Hard Tackle lists three potential destinations for the French defender.
He is one of the most decorated defenders in the modern-day history of the game, a player who has won it all. With 19 trophies to boast of over the course of his career, most of whom he played a key role in winning, it goes without saying that Raphael Varane is a modern-day great already, despite being 27 and only recently entering the peak years of his career.
At Real Madrid, he slowly grew in stature before making himself an indispensable figure. In recent years, he has forged such a formidable central defensive partnership alongside captain Sergio Ramos that both the players have come to be regarded among the best centre-backs in the world.
However, ahead of the summer transfer window, Real Madrid are in a precarious position over the futures of both the regular central defenders. Sergio Ramos is at odds with Los Blancos over the terms of a new contract, with his current deal set to run out at the end of the season. And, after ten years in the Spanish capital, it looks like Varane could be set for a new challenge in his career as well.
Widespread reports claim that Varane is unlikely to put pen to a new long-term contract. With his current deal running out in just over a year’s time, it is also a prudent move for Real Madrid to part ways with the Frenchman, if they are unable to reach an agreement with him over a renewal. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle lists three clubs where he could end up this summer.
The first one is the most obvious pick. There have already been murmurs about a potential move by Manchester United in the summer transfer window while it has been well established by now that the Red Devils hold a long-standing interest in Varane.
In fact, back in 2018 Manchester United had reportedly even taken the decision to spend a staggering £100 million to sign the 27-year-old, although a move never materialised. Now, though, is the best moment for Manchester United to finally get their hands on Varane, who is at his most delicate position since joining Real Madrid.
That he would be an ideal fit at the heart of the Manchester United defence is not even a question, in all honesty. The 2018 World Cup winner is at the peak of his powers and has the qualities that would not only make him complement Harry Maguire at the back but also settle in quickly in the demanding environs of the Premier League.
His ever-developing leadership abilities should also come in handy in a side that has not always had the characters to pull them out of a sticky situation. More importantly, his prowess on the ball, a few errors in the past year notwithstanding, would also enable Manchester United to play out of the back more effectively than they do currently.
His imposing presence might also help United’s oft-frustrating pursuit of goals from set-piece situations, where deliveries regularly go unconverted. All in all, Varane is a player who will surely improve Manchester United, who have recently been handed a boost in the race to sign him, as Real Madrid are reportedly willing to do a deal with them for the Frenchman.
Another club who have recently emerged in pursuit of Varane. It has been reported in recent weeks that Liverpool are keen on swooping the 27-year-old away from Real Madrid as well, and it is not hard to see why the Reds are eager to get their hands on someone like Varane.
While Liverpool did bolster their defence in the January transfer window by signing Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak, it is hard to see the duo being coveted as the future of the club’s defensive unit. Davies has played his entire career in the lower leagues of English football and is yet to be tested in Liverpool colours, while it is expected that Kabak will not be signed permanently come summer.
Joel Matip’s injury woes in the last couple of years mean that Liverpool do need a top-class centre-back to play alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the defence, especially with Joe Gomez’s progress being hampered by yet another long-term injury. To that end, Varane is the kind of central defender to elevate the level of Liverpool’s defence.
In fact, in theory, Varane and van Dijk could form the single-most formidable central defensive partnership in world football, giving Liverpool the shot in the arm they need to reinstate their status of being one of the most fearsome teams in the game.
Having said that, unlike Manchester United, Liverpool might not be able to offer UEFA Champions League football to Varane next season, with their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea this week leaving them 7th and four points adrift of a place in the top four. If Liverpool do not arrest their slide, signing world-class players like Varane might become a tall order for them in the summer.
Finally, a club that has only recently emerged in the race to sign Varane, Juventus are also a team that can certainly do with the French defender. The Bianconeri are currently in a transitional period, with defence looking in need of an overhaul.
Both Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci on the wrong side of 30 and in the twilight of their respective careers, and Juventus need to lay down the succession plan for the Italian duo. While Matthijs de Ligt is touted to have a bright future in Turin and has already established himself as a mainstay at the back, Merih Demiral is yet to get a foothold in the first-team setup.
Therefore, signing someone like Varane will be a step in the right direction for Juventus, who can have the Real Madrid superstar and de Ligt forging a long-term partnership that could potentially make them rock-solid at the back. Their title-winning pedigree also makes Juventus an attractive prospect for Varane. A move that could come to fruition.