Real Madrid

Real Madrid's stance on selling Raphael Varane this summer

Robbie Copeland
Varane could be on the market this summer
Varane could be on the market this summer / Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid will consider offers for Raphael Varane this summer should his contract talks continue to stall, according to reports in Spain. Claims in the UK that they will command £70m for his services, though, fall wide of the mark.

The French defender, widely viewed as one of the best centre backs in the world, is out of contract in 2022, and there is plenty of uncertainty in Madrid over whether he will pen a new deal beyond that point.

That has sparked interest from England - in February it was reported that Manchester United added him to a shortlist of targets, while Liverpool have also been linked more loosely with a potential deal.

A series of confusing reports over the past few days, though, have muddled the whole thing up. In the UK, we've seen various stories from the Mail and The Mirror, which all seem to go along the same lines - Real are open to selling, they want something between £63-70m, and Manchester United are willing to pay that.

What's less clear is how the UK press have got to those conclusions. Everything seems to lead back to the same basic report from AS, who say pretty clearly that Real will consider offers if he continues to play hardball over a new contract.

In the story, they cite his Transfermarkt valuation, which comes out at €70m (£63m). In a bizarre game of Chinese whispers, The Mail took that as meaning Real will 'look to recoup his transfer value' - even though AS don't suggest for a second that this is their asking price.

The Mirror misinterpreted things further. In a report on Monday morning, they have Manchester United 'not hesitating' over meeting Real's £70m valuation - somehow it's pounds now, not even Euros.

That report credits Mundo Deportivo (the source link is broken, and takes you to the Sport Witness error page), but a quick search for Mundo's coverage of the story yields just one story. It sources the same AS report at the root of everything else - including a completely separate Mirror story that came out a couple of hours later.

In summary? The whole thing is a bit of a mess.

It should be noted that, for all United are named in most of the headlines that have arisen in the UK surrounding Varane, there is nothing in the Spanish press that suggests there is any new interest from Old Trafford - just that they have been linked previously.

All we've learned, then, is that Real would prefer to sell Varane rather than lose him for free. That, and that you should always check the actual source when reading transfer stories.