Man United ‘hold center-back talk’ as John Murtough willing to pay £68million for 26-years old

Manchester United’s need for new blood at centre-back has been exposed for all to see since captain Harry Maguire limped off against Aston Villa.

Prior to his ankle injury, Maguire had not missed a minute of United’s Premier League action this season, papering over the Red Devils’ lack of depth in central defence.

Although the United captain has struck up a workable partnership with Victor Lindelof, the Swede looked lost at sea at times during the 4-2 defeat by Liverpool on Thursday night.

His partner, Eric Bailly, fared no better – and the shaky display will strengthen the resolve of Old Trafford chiefs to sign a new partner for Maguire.

To that end, progress is being made in pursuit of Real Madrid stalwart Raphael Varane, who is believed to be one of United’s two targets in La Liga.

Also featuring an update on Jesse Lingard’s future, here is Saturday’s Manchester United transfer round-up.

Manchester United have entered exploratory talks with Raphael Varane as the defender approaches the final year of his contract at Real Madrid.

That’s according to the Manchester Evening News, which claims the Red Devils are one of many clubs keen on the Frenchman, who helped his country to World Cup glory in 2018.

While Liverpool are also reportedly in pursuit, Mirror Sport understands United have made Varane their priority transfer target and are preparing a £40million bid.

The 28-year-old has come close to a move to Old Trafford on multiple occasions in the past and club chiefs are desparate to finally strike a deal this summer.

While Manchester United are moving forward in their pursuit of Raphael Varane, they are also ready to table an enormous bid to sign Atletico Madrid maestro Marcos Llorente, according to reports in Spain.

John Murtough willing to pay £68million for Laliga star.

Diario AS claims Atletico are deeply concerned by the Red Devils’ ongoing interest in Llorente and would like to tie him down to an extension, even though he has three years remaining on his current deal.

The report adds United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and director of football John Murtough are willing to pay £68million to sign the Spain international.

Llorente – who famously scored twice to knock Liverpool out of the Champions League last season – has been in brilliant form with 12 goals and 11 assists in La Liga this term.