Chelsea are eyeing a sensational hijack of Manchester United’s attempt to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid this summer.
The Red Devils have been the frontrunners to sign the Frenchman for much of the window, after he told Los Blancos that he wanted to leave the Spanish capital in search of a new challenge.
United have steadily been edging closer to wrapping up what is expected to be a £50million deal for Varane as they made him one of their top targets.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to bring Varane to Old Trafford as England international Harry Maguire’s partner at the heart of the Red Devils’ defence.
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Though they have looked the clear frontrunners to sign the World Cup winner for more than a month, United are now facing an unexpected challenge from Chelsea.
According to The Sun, United’s deal for Varane is “all but done”, but Marca state that the Blues have emerged as a late contender and are 'set to pounce'.
There are now fears at United that the entry of their Premier League rivals into the race could scupper their hopes of signing Varane.
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While United will be reeling from Chelsea’s surprise bid, Madrid will be delighted as they seek to raise much-needed funds.
Los Blancos failed to offer Varane the terms he wanted in order to extend his stay at the Bernabeu and must sell him this summer if they are to bring in a substantial fee.
Their wage bill is set to be slashed by more than a third as they seek to comply with the La Liga wage cap, with The Athletic reporting it will be reduced from £403m to £255m.
Varane is one of the top assets that they can sell this summer, though they have had to cut their asking price for the Frenchman.
While United had seemingly been able to hold out for a £10m reduction on that valuation, Chelsea’s interest could drive it back up.
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