Manchester United FC

Man Utd add Raphael Varane & others to centre-back shortlist

Jamie Spencer
Feb 12, 2021, 12:00 PM GMT
Real Madrid could sell Raphael Varane this summer
Real Madrid could sell Raphael Varane this summer | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Manchester United have added Raphael Varane, Tyrone Mings and David Carmo to the shortlist of centre back options they are monitoring ahead of the summer transfer window. Pau Torres, Dayot Upamecano, Jules Kounde are among their other existing targets for the position.

United are keen on landing a new centre back this year to act as a long-term partner for club captain Harry Maguire. Victor Lindelof has struggled to prove himself of the quality necessary to be a regular starter and Eric Bailly is once more battling fitness problems.

Man Utd want a long-term partner for Harry Maguire
Man Utd want a long-term partner for Harry Maguire | Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

90min first revealed back in November that United see a central defender as one of their priorities in 2021. The Old Trafford club had admired Torres at Villarreal since last summer and he is at the top of the list. There is also a feeling his time there could be coming to an end after becoming a regular international for Spain and a release clause just under £60m hasn’t put suitors off.

Upamecano was also near the top of the list at one stage, although it was rumoured that United were starting to cool their interest when Bayern Munich began pursuing the player. Bayern have since entered positive early talks with the Frenchman’s representatives.

90min has also previously reported that United have been closely watching Kounde at Sevilla for many months, as well as Brighton’s Ben White and Leicester’s Caglar Soyuncu, as they thoroughly weigh up and assess plenty of possible options to make the best decision.

90min reported on Man Utd's interest in Pau Torres
90min reported on Man Utd's interest in Pau Torres | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Even as a shorter term solution, United would be interested in Sergio Ramos should the 34-year-old leave Real Madrid this summer. However, getting burnt in pursuit of the Spaniard in the past means they would only make a serious approach if that interest was genuinely reciprocated. The rest of the Premier League ‘Big Six’ have taken a similar view on Ramos, who is most likely to join PSG.

Varane has been heavily linked with United for years, but fresh doubts over the Frenchman’s future at Real Madrid has led ESPN to report that he also now one of the players Old Trafford officials are considering. The same goes for Mings, who has been central to Aston Villa’s improvement this season, as well as the towering 21-year-old Carmo at Braga.

Varane has less than 18 months left on his current contract at Real Madrid and a sale in 2021 is the only way Los Blancos could command a reasonable transfer fee for the World Cup winner, who could potentially leave the Bernabeu as a free agent in 2022 if he refuses to sign a new deal.

Man Utd have been linked with Varane for 10 years
Man Utd have been linked with Varane for 10 years | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The 27-year-old will have spent ten full seasons at Real by the end of the current campaign, having joined from Lens as a teenager in 2011, and it has been reported in Spain there is a belief at the club he wants to move on and test himself elsewhere.

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