Man Utd may have secret weapon to reduce Raphael Varane transfer fee as talks progress

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Manchester United could use Diogo Dalot as a makeweight in their attempts to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane this summer. United are making good progress in their attempts to land Varane, but Dalot could still prove to be a useful bargaining chip for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

United have already completed a £73million transfer for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and Varane is the next piece in Solskjaer’s puzzle.

Sancho is set to be announced soon after the England international completed a medical with the Old Trafford club.

A deal for Varane remains some way off that stage but United are confident it will be completed over the coming weeks.

Varane has entered the final 12 months of his Real contract and, although the club offered him fresh terms, they are understood to be willing to sell this summer rather than lose him for free in a year.

United have twice tried to sign him – in 2011 before he moved from Lens to Real Madrid and after France’s World Cup win in 2018 – and it seems it will be a case of third time lucky this summer.

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The Manchester Evening News reported on Monday that they are ‘inching closer every day’ and remain calm about the situation, with Varane currently on holiday with his family following Euro 2020.

While progress is clearly being made, United are yet to agree a transfer fee with Real Madrid – and that’s where Dalot could come in handy.

Dalot has made just 34 appearances for United since joining from Porto in 2018 for £18m and spent last season on loan with AC Milan.

The Portuguese full-back has two years left on his United contract but does not appear to have a future at the club, given Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s form and the attempts to sign Kieran Trippier this summer.

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Milan have reportedly expressed an interest in another loan, but United are keen on a permanent transfer to free up funds for other business.

Luckily for them, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is a fan of Dalot, according to Spanish publication AS.

Real already have Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Odriozola at right-back, yet may be keen to sign Dalot, given Ancelotti recommended him as a potential signing to Everton’s hierarchy when he was at the club.

If United do land Trippier from Atletico Madrid this summer then Dalot will surely be sold or sent out on loan once more.

The chance to kill two birds with one stone – sign top target Varane and offload Dalot – is surely a tempting option for Solskjaer to consider.

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