Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confessed he is drooling at the prospect of working with French centre-back Raphael Varane, who has agreed a deal to join the club this summer.
Real Madrid have agreed to sell Varane, who had one year left on his contract, for around the £40m mark, although quarantine rules and medical checks mean it could be a little while longer before the transfer is finalised.
Nevertheless, Solskjaer has not been able to hide his excitement at the signing, who is set to follow Jadon Sancho as the next high-profile arrival at Old Trafford.
“Of course, I’m very happy that we’ve managed to get the deal with Real Madrid," he said (via the club's official website) after Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Brentford. “He’s a proven winner and a player we've followed for many, many years. I know Sir Alex was very, very close to signing him and this time around we’ve got him at the other end of his career.
“He’s proved over his whole career what a good person he is, first of all. [He's a] professional and he's won all there is to win.
“I’m very happy getting both our players in. First of all, the club has shown ambition with getting one of the most exciting young forwards in world football [Sancho], and one of the most respected centre-backs and one of the most winning centre-backs in the world.
“With him in, we’ve got different ways of playing of course, and I can see different ways of playing with Raphael. I can't wait to get him in and hopefully we can get that sorted as soon as.”
Solskjaer also offered an update on the timeframe surrounding the Varane deal, admitting there are still a few obstacles to navigate before the 28-year-old can actually join up with the team.
“From what I know, the club is working on the quickest possible solution to get everything sorted,” he added. “I don't know the timescale on it yet. Of course, there is a visa coming into England, with Brexit and quarantining. Everything has to be done as quick as possible, but by the book.”
Finally, Solskjaer offered his thanks to those in charge at United, praising them for their aggressive work in the transfer market so far.
"As a manager you can't ask for more backing when you've got these two in as early as we have," he said (via Sky Sports News).
"We've scrambled before towards the end of the window and now I think, I have to say, we're in a good position. Pre-season is always difficult, though, in a championship year, never mind in the pandemic with the quarantining and isolation."