What will Raphael Varane bring to Manchester United?

Manchester City v Real Madrid – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – Second Leg – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

France defender Raphael Varane has agreed a move to Manchester United from Real Madrid.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at what qualities the 28-year-old will bring to Old Trafford.


France v England – International Friendly – Stade de France

Varane has 79 caps for France (Mike Egerton/PA)

Varane joined Real in 2011 from French club Lens and has a wealth of experience, going on to make over 300 appearances for the club, many alongside Sergio Ramos. He has 79 caps for France and played in all four matches at Euro 2020 where they reached the last 16.

Winning mentality

Real Madrid v Manchester City – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – First Leg – Santiago Bernabeu

The defender won 18 trophies at Real Madrid (Nick Potts/PA)

The numbers certainly stack up. Since joining Real, Varane has won 18 major honours including three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey title, four UEFA Champions League titles and four FIFA Club World Cup titles. He was also a World Cup winner with France in 2018.

Defensive rock

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United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made strengthening the centre of his side’s defence a priority once an agreement had been struck for England winger Jadon Sancho. The feeling at Old Trafford is that Harry Maguire needs a solid, long-term partner at the back and Varane fits the bill.

A touch of Rio

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – First Leg – Real Madrid v Manchester United – Santiago Bernabeu

Rio Ferdinand was a huge favourite at United (Adam Davy/PA)

When Rio Ferdinand left Manchester United he left a void in their defence that has never really been filled since. Part of what made the England international such an elite central defender was his playing style, his ability to dominate forwards while simultaneously being composed, elegant and controlled in possession. Varane can bring that style back to Old Trafford.

Seal of approval

Real Madrid Training Session – NSK Olimpiyskiy Stadium

Cristiano Ronaldo and Varane were team-mates at Real (Nick Potts/PA)

Former United forward Cristiano Ronaldo recognised Varane’s quality eight years ago at Real Madrid, and confidently claimed his team-mate would go on to become one of the best centre-backs in the world. United will be hoping their old favourite is right.

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