It has certainly been a week for the football world, and it still isn’t over yet. The Super League, Champions League format changes, unified fan and player protests, and to top it all off some odd ramblings by Real Madrid President Florentino Perez.
Perez has done quite a bit to place both his club and himself in the spotlight of the modern game, and his latest pursuits (along with 11 other clubs’ owners and executives) have got him talking up a storm on a number of topics even outside of the seemingly ill-fated Super League. Among these has been transfer speculation, and in addition to stating a clear intention to try and bring young superstars Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland to Los Blancos, he’s also hinted at a potential move for Real Madrid’s own Raphael Varane, a player Manchester United have been following with interest for some time now.
Sources close to Raphaël Varane say some clubs are only prepared to wait until next year to sign him for free but Florentino Pérez is so desperate to prevent that from happening he is willing to sell Varane this summer #mulive [men]— utdreport (@utdreport) April 22, 2021
Varane, who turns 28 in three days, has been an important part of the Los Blancos defense since the early 2010s. He gradually took over from Pepe as Sergio Ramos’ partner at the heart of the back four, and has racked up 3 La Liga titles and 4 UEFA Champions Leagues in Madrid and a World Cup with France among other medals.
There has been a bit of speculation on his future with the club, as his contract is set to run out in 2022, and Real appear to have an interest in collecting a fee for him before losing his services for free. Perez was asked about his availability during his radio interview on Wednesday. “Varane? I’m happy with our team,” Perez said. “If players don’t want to stay at Madrid they can leave.”
Perez went on to discuss his club’s poor financial situation, blaming the COVID-19 global pandemic for the role it played and listing it as a primary motivator for forming a Super League. However, it should be noted that Real Madrid have conducted some very poor business in recent years. They find themselves in considerable debt due to poor decisions as well as the pandemic, and may be in a situation where they need to sell players to address the situation.
Varane is a very good defender, and for the right price could be an excellent addition to Solskjaer’s squad. However, he has quite a history for picking up injuries. Though he hasn’t suffered a major injury since the 2013/14 season, lots of muscle injuries over the years will be something to consider before making a major financial commitment to the aging defender.