Manchester United are set to make Raphael Varane their best-paid player on wages of £300,000-a-week, it has been claimed.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to land the Real Madrid star. But, though a move is edging closer, the club are continuing to work on potential alternatives.
Manchester United have already signed two players.
A deal for Jadon Sancho has been agreed, with the England international poised to officially complete his move once his involvement at the European Championships comes to an end.
And, on Friday last week, the club announced the return of Tom Heaton – who has joined on a free transfer from Aston Villa.
Now, they’re grafting hard behind the scenes to ensure Varane touches down at Old Trafford as well.
The France international has just a year left on his current contract at Real Madrid, meaning Los Blancos face selling him now or losing him for nothing in 12 months’ time.
And Eurosport’s Dean Jones, speaking on The Football Terrace podcast, has claimed United are poised to make Varane the highest-paid outfield player at the club.
“They’re continuing to keep other potential ideas in the background,” said Jones.
“They’ll continue to work on options until this goes through.
“But if you get Raphael Varane you get Raphael Varane. So, you know, this would be the one they’d definitely pull the trigger on if they could.
“The personal terms there’s a potential issue that Varane would basically become United’s highest-paid outfield player if this deal goes through.
“From what I’ve told it’ll be getting to about £300,000-a-week.
“But then there’s the issue of what happens with the rest of the squad. Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, contracts like that are coming in time for negotiations too.
“So you have to be sure about how this would fit into the overall structure.”
United have been burned when handing out bumper contracts in the past.
The decision to pay Alexis Sanchez close to £400,000-a-week upon signing the Chile international from Arsenal in January 2018 rankled with the squad, wth Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial particularly aggrieved.
It also meant offloading Sanchez was a tall order, too, with few clubs on the planet willing to fork out.
So United had to loan arguably the most disappointing signing in the club’s history to Inter Milan for a year, paying some of his wages, before managing to get him off the books for good.
If United sign Varane, they’ll certainly be getting one of the best players on the planet.
But it would also be a gamble, especially given the finances involved.
Varane previously came close to moving to Old Trafford a decade ago, with Sir Alex Ferguson earmarking him as a long-term replacement for Rio Ferdinand.
Yet the Red Devils ended up missing out, with Zinedine Zidane enticing the former Lens defender to Spain instead.
Varane later explained his decision to choose a move to the Bernabeu, saying: “Zidane called me and I asked him to call me back because I was studying for my baccalaureate.
“It’s my relaxed nature that made me react like that. You have to be care-free to deal with so many things at such a young age.
“But to be honest, after that call, my mind was elsewhere; it was hard to focus on revising!
“It was the craziest period of my life: I was getting ready for the baccalaureate, the phone was ringing off the hook, I visited the Real facilities, I met Alex Ferguson… Just imagine, I was doing exams and signing autographs for other students.
“It was surreal. I’m really proud of having passed.”