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United miss out on central defender

Here's one Real Madrid player who probably won't be coming to Old Trafford.

Julian Finney

Sad news, folks. Remember that richly talented and hugely coveted young centre back, Raphaël Varane? That nearly signed for Manchester United before eventually choosing Real Madrid? That was reportedly unhappy at having been kept on the bench by Sergio Ramos and Pepe, and was apparently making come hither noises and googly eyes at the Premier League?

Yeah, he's just signed a new contract. Dammit.

Specifically, he's signed a five-year deal that will, in theory, keep him at the Bernabeu until 2020. Perhaps we can assume that all the noise over the summer was simply his agent fluffing a new contract out of the powers that be; perhaps, alternatively, his unhappiness was real but Real have taken the necessary steps to reassure him. Doesn't really matter from a United point of view.

What does matter is the big long list of Top Class Central Defenders just got one name shorter. Anybody seen a Mats Hummels rumour recently?