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Man United’s salary for center-back emerges as club ‘work on other options’



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.”


Rio Ferdinand issues major warning about Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag




Former centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes it is still too early to judge whether Erik ten Hag is the right man to lead Manchester United back to the top, despite their unquestionable improvement under him this season.

United head into tomorrow’s Manchester derby against City at Old Trafford with the knowledge that a win will lift them to within a point and place of their neighbours in the Premier League table.

The Reds have lost just one of their last 18 matches since being battered 6-3 by City back in October, featuring a current run of eight wins on the bounce.

The Reds, such is the level of progress they have made under Ten Hag this season, are now considered as one of the favourites to qualify for the Champions League for next season.

They have made significant strides in a relatively short space of time and victories over the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur already this season have proven that they are capable of competing in the upper echelons of the table again.

However, despite heading into the second half of the campaign with form in their sails, Ferdinand insists the jury is still out on Ten Hag, despite him reaching 20 wins as United manager quick than any of his predecessors.

“I think it’s too early to say,” said Ferdinand to the Mirror. “We’ve been here with previous managers when it looks like we are onto something.

“We’ve got to be patient and give the man time. I think all the signs are very positive at the moment. He’s come in and seen what is happening, assessed how things are, looked at individuals and looked at the shape of the team.

“These were a bunch of players that were quite low. They were shot to pieces and he’s had to build, not only footballers, but men back up again. He’s had to build a lot of human beings back up and that takes time.

“The fact he’s now talking about qualifying for the Champions League so positively, he can sense a confidence coming back into this team. There’s a consistency of performance from the team that wasn’t there before and the signals and signs are all very promising.

“But they’re still not where they want to be. City are way ahead of where United are. The distance is a bit closer, but it’s still not anywhere near where we want it to be. There’s still work to be done.”

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Manchester United takeover bids ‘expected imminently’ with serious interest in Club




Manchester United are expecting takeover offers from across the world as they are set to invite bids ahead of ‘mid-February deadline’.

The Telegraph have reported that the club have received ‘serious interest’ from consortiums based in the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also weighing up an offer, as the Glazers hope to the sell one of the biggest clubs in the world for over £5billion.

The report also adds that parties who had been interested in taking over Chelsea, before Todd Boehly’s £4.25bn takeover, are set to return with approaches for the Red Devils.

It’s expected that potential investors will go public with their attempts to buy United in the coming weeks with the clock ‘now ticking on a deal’.

Senior United figures will issue a mid February deadline for formal offers in order to help get get the takeover completed before the end of the season.

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Confirmed: Chelsea ready to make late bid to hijack another Arsenal transfer




Chelsea will make a late attempt to scupper Arsenal’s hopes of finally signing Mikhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Gunners have submitted their third bid for the Ukraine international winger and hope an offer of £62m before add-ons, which take the deal closer to £70m, will be enough to break the deadlock between the two clubs.

Chelsea’s interest in the 21-year-old winger was earlier this week described only as ‘exploratory’ but ESPN now claim that Todd Boehly will test the waters and attempt to throw a spanner in the works for the Premier League leaders.

Shakhtar’s technical director Darijo Srna was pictured at Stamford Bridge last week as he watched Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City and Boehly would have little issue with meeting an asking price which is closer to £88million.

Arsenal are said to be confident that their latest bid for Mudryk will be enough to finally secure the services of their No.1 January target, but have already been beaten to the punch once this month by their west London rivals.

Chelsea won the race to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid amid competition from Arsenal and Manchester United, but the Portugal international’s promising debut ended in devastating fashion when he was sent off just shy of the hour mark for a dangerous challenge on Fulham’s Kenny Tete.

Felix will now miss the next three games through suspension as the problems mount for Chelsea’s under-fire manager Graham Potter.

‘It sums up where we are at the moment – everything that can go wrong, is going wrong,’ Potter said after Chelsea’s 2-1 west London derby defeat.

‘It was a forward’s tackle from Joao, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red. It is another blow the hits keep coming at the moment.

‘He was really good you could see his quality in the game so it is doubly disappointing for us because he was looking dangerous throughout.

‘I don’t think there was too much malice in it and it is an unfortunate action and we are going to lose him now for three games.’

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