Manchester United now two steps closer to sealing Raphael Varane transfer

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Manchester United are moving closer to signing Real Madrid star Raphael Varane. The Red Devils are determined to land the France international, believing he’d be the perfect centre-back partner for Harry Maguire. And confidence is building a deal can be struck.

A decade ago, Manchester United tried to sign Varane.

Sir Alex Ferguson wanted the defender, then at Lens, believing he’d be the ideal long-term replacement for the ageing and waning Rio Ferdinand.

In the end, United missed out. However, 10 years on, confidence is now growing he’ll finally make the move to Old Trafford.

And the Manchester Evening News have suggested United are now moving closer to an agreement for the 28-year-old, who has just one year left on his Bernabeu contract.

It’s claimed that personal terms are nearly agreed, which is one obstacle to overcome.

While no money is mentioned, other reports have suggested the player wants an annual salary in the region of £10million in order to make the move.

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United, in nearly agreeing those terms, appear to be willing to give the 28-year-old the cash he feels he’s entitled to.

And it’s also stated that while no fee has been agreed with Real Madrid just yet, that’s no ‘sticking point’ for the Red Devils.

United, in being willing to stump up the money required, now look destined to finally bring a 10-year search to a successful end.

Madrid initially wanted a fee of £80million for their prized asset, particularly after already losing Sergio Ramos to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

However, they’re now expected to settle for far less – especially given the fact the player will be a free agent in 12 months’ time.

The publication also says sources close to the deal will be ‘amazed’ if Varane doesn’t make the move.

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And that bodes well for United, who are eager to win the Premier League title next time out.

It’s already been a good start to the window for the Red Devils, who have signed Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton so far.

Sancho’s move hasn’t been officially completed but, with the player set to have his medical today, that deal is all but done.

And Heaton has signed on the dotted line to provide competition for Dean Henderson and David De Gea in the club’s goalkeeping department.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently opened up on the arrival of Heaton, telling club media: “Tom is a Manchester United player.

“He’s been here and felt this is coming home and closing the circle. He’s had a very, very good career so far and been a part of the England set-up.

“For him to come in now, taking his challenge, I think is what he needed, that last step now.

“He’s such a top professional and such a top guy to have around and that will help the young lads.”

And the Norwegian also opened up on the club’s decision to hand new contracts to Juan Mata and Lee Grant.

“We are a young squad and that’s been part of the thinking,” he said.

“We have the professionals that can be an example day in and day out.

“Our young lads think they know it because we bring the up through the Academy and they do learn good habits.

“But then they come into the first team and see World Cup winners like Juan and the way he conducts himself, even if he doesn’t play.

“He didn’t play as much as he would have liked to last year but he’s never ever letting himself or his team down with his attitude.

“So [they are] good examples and Lee, as well, knows he’s got good goalkeepers ahead of him but the example he sets is something we have to reward them [for] and it makes the group better, and they’re still good players.”

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