It is understood the clubs have agreed on an initial fee of PS34m, which could rise to PS42m, and that Varane, 28, has agreed on terms on a four-year contract with the option for another 12 months. United said the transfer would be completed "subject to a medical and to player terms being finalized". Varane, a World Cup winner with France, has made 360 appearances for Real. "Real Madrid wants to show all its affection to Raphael Varane and his family and wishes him good luck in this new stage of his professional career," the club said in a statement. "Our club would like you to be remembered for the professionalism and excellent conduct you displayed during the 10 seasons we had you as our defender." " Varane is the third signing by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in this transfer window. ok Sport understands Varane will quarantine before having his medical, after which he will complete his move. United, who agreed to pay Real a sum on Monday, were long-time admirers Varane. Varane's contract was due to expire next year. Former boss Sir Alex Ferguson originally pursued a deal for the player before his move to Madrid, and Jose Mourinho was also keen to add the defender to his squad during his time at Old Trafford.
After coming through Lens' academy, Varane broke into the first team at the age of 17, and while he was unable to steer them away from relegation, his performances attracted the attention of some of Europe's top clubs. Despite strong interest from United, Real signed the teenager on a six-year contract in 2011, and he went on to make 15 appearances in all competitions during his first season in Spain as Mourinho's side regained the title. That was the start of Varane's impressive trophy haul during his decade in the Spanish capital. He helped Carlo Ancelotti's side clinch their 10th European title - 'La Decima' - in the 2013-14 season, making seven appearances and partnering Sergio Ramos in the final as they beat Atletico Madrid 4-1 after extra time in Lisbon. Varane was also a key figure under compatriot Zinedine Zidane, who replaced Rafael Benitez as a manager in January 2016, as Los Blancos secured a hat-trick of Champions League titles from 2016-2018. However, a hamstring injury ruled him out of the 2016 final against Atletico and France's European Championship campaign that summer, which ended in defeat in the final. Having battled injuries during the 2016-17 season, Varane enjoyed arguably his strongest year in 2017-18 as Real beat Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final, before he starred for France at the 2018 World Cup, playing every minute of Les Bleus' triumphant campaign in Russia. Varane's performances for club and country during 2017-18 saw him finish seventh in the Ballon d'Or rankings - the highest-placed defender - and he was named in the Uefa Team of the Year. However, the center-back has had his share of disappointments. In 2019-20, his poor performance led to Real losing the Champions League last-16 to Manchester City. Varane also played every minute of France's Euro 2020 campaign, which ended with a last-16 penalty shootout defeat by Switzerland.
Should the Varane deal be completed as expected, United will have spent just short of PS400m on players since Solskjaer was appointed manager on a permanent basis in March 2019. Transfermarkt says that this is more than the cost of Manchester City ($PS298m), Chelsea ($PS262m), Tottenham (+PS255m), Arsenal(PS243m), Liverpool (1PS119m) over the same period. Varane is the fourth defender United has brought in since conceding 54 goals during the 2018-19 Premier League season, after Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Alex Telles. Having acquired Maguire and Wan-Bissaka in the summer of 2019, the Red Devils conceded 36 goals as they finished third in 2019-20. They climbed a place to finish second behind Manchester City last season, letting in 44 goals, 12 more than their neighbors. It is understood any further signings this summer are likely to depend on outgoings.
This certainly seems like an excellent deal for Manchester United. Varane provides the back-story and experience they need for their defensive leadership. This relatively young United squad is fortunate to have Varane's valuable experience with starting three Champions League finals winners and a World Cup semifinal win. United have been able to exploit a weak transfer market - they were the only realistic option for Varane if he decided to leave Real - and the financial issues affecting all Spain's leading clubs to come up with a deal attractive enough to entice a player of truly international quality. The big question for United now is whether they are done in the market this summer. That may well depend on whether Paul Pogba decides to sit out the remaining year of his contract or if he would be willing to accept a lower salary that may be on offer in 12 months' time in order to get a move to PSG. Axel Tuanzebe seems the most likely central defender to make way for Varane, potentially on loan to Newcastle, although doubts hang over the futures of Diogo Dalot, Brandon Williams, Jesse Lingard, and Phil Jones, who did not make a single appearance last season and has not been involved so far during pre-season games against Derby and QPR. United must balance its finances. Fans just want Varane on the pitch. Old Trafford fans have not felt so optimistic in a while, considering Jadon's Borussia Dortmund move.