Manchester United report: Raphael Varane successor on the radar for summer move

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane celebrates after their sides victory during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on October 19, 2022 in Manchester, England
(Image credit: Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Manchester United are poised to make a move for Raphael Varane's successor in defence. 

Last month, the highly-decorated defender announced his retirement from international football, aged just 29. In 10 years of playing for the French national side, Varane won the World Cup and the Nations League, making 93 caps. 

In an injury-plagued time at Manchester United, Varane has been essential to the defence – but now, thoughts are turning to a future without the centre-back for both club and country. 

Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane has won almost everything for at both domestic and international level (Image credit: PA)

One late inclusion to France's World Cup squad, Axel Disasi is a target for United, according to CaughtOffside. The Monaco stopper was given a debut in Qatar and will likely feature a lot more in the coming years with Varane out of the set-up – with French football expert Jonathan Johnson suggesting that the 25-year-old could be a solid squad option for Erik ten Hag, if not an elite answer for the back four.

“Monaco defender Axel Disasi is an interesting player who’s starting to attract links with the likes of Manchester United ahead of the summer,” Johnson said.

“He’s in that kind of ‘finishing school’ phase that Aurelien Tchouameni was in when he was there, and that someone like Wesley Fofana is in with Chelsea right now. He’s now made the breakthrough at international level and that’s helped get him onto the radar of a number of big clubs. For someone like United, I think he would add competition to their squad, but I do have questions about whether or not he’d be the best fit for Erik ten Hag’s side and where they are now.”

“I think Disasi will definitely be coveted by Premier League clubs in the future, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it ended up being someone a level below Manchester United, one of those clubs aspiring to get it into the Champions League reckoning.”

Axel Disasi of France poses during the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 portrait session on November 17, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

Axel Disasi has been tipped for a big future (Image credit: Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

While not expected to reach the heights that Varane has in his career, the added cover for United would certainly be welcome. Luke Shaw has had to fill in at centre-back this season, while Harry Maguire has not been fully trusted by Ten Hag. 

Disasi is valued at €25 million by Transfermarkt

More Manchester United stories

Manchester United are looking to capitalise on their resurgence in the transfer market, with big new signings. Victor Osimhen is one option for €100m, Declan Rice is on the radar and Jeremie Frimpong could arrive as a new right-back. More outlandish theories include signing Kylian Mbappe and selling Marcus Rashford to Arsenal

The Glazer ownership are not guaranteed to sell up – despite bids from lifelong fan, Sir Jim Radcliffe and Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani. Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford has underlined the importance of positive mentality at Old Trafford. 

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.