Real Madrid – La Liga PSG and Manchester United interested
The situation regarding Sergio Ramos‘ contract has taken up much of the headlines at Real Madrid in recent weeks and months, but the club are also at risk of losing another key defender.
Raphael Varane‘s current deal at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu runs until June 2022 and there are suspicions running through the club’s offices that the Frenchman isn’t planning on renewing it.
If, in the next few weeks, the World Cup winner reveals his intentions to run his contract down, Real Madrid will look to find a buyer for him in the summer to avoid losing him for free the following year. However, with a few months between now and the summer transfer window, the club’s priority is still to convince him to stay.
Varane signed with sports agency giants CAA Sports, who are very active in English football. His primary representative remains his brother Anthony, though.
As well as representing the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Dele Alli, CAA Sports also have a partnership with Jorge Mendes‘ Gestifute agency, who hold the marketing and image rights to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, James Rodriguez and Jose Mourinho.
Varane will be 27 years old by the summer, meaning he’s in the prime years of his career. That makes him one of the most sought-after players in his position in the market.
According to Transfermarkt, the centre-back has a market value of 70 million euros – the second most expensive player in the Real Madrid squad – alongside Casemiro – after Thibaut Courtois at 75 million euros.
Real Madrid know there are complications with Ramos and Varane that could leave them short of centre-backs in the near future.
That’s why, in the January transfer window, Los Blancos went to secure the signature of David Alaba, whose contract at Bayern Munich runs out in June. The Austrian defender agreed to move to the Spanish capital, as MARCA have reported, at the end of the season.
Should Real Madrid decide that having Alaba and Eder Militao is not enough for next campaign, don’t rule out a move to sign another centre-back in the summer. Pau Torres, Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos are all options.
There are similarities between both Varane and Alaba‘s situations. They are two players of similar age who have achieved a lot already in their careers.
They’ve both spent a decade or so at the highest level, winning trophies galore at their respective clubs, and they’re both now in search of new challenges. As for Varane, he only earns six million euros per season at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid were first alerted to Varane‘s intentions in the summer of 2019, when he first considered leaving. The Frenchman was forced to clear the air in an interview with MARCA.
“I’m going to stay at Madrid,” Varane said, before admitting “everything has to end one day”. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain were looking at him then.
The return of Zinedine Zidane, who recommended an 18-year-old Varane to Florentino Perez in 2011, to the Real Madrid dugout ensured the defender would stay on. However, the former Lens starlet hasn’t renewed his contract at the Bernabeu since September 2017, which suggests he could be looking to pursue something new.
Since edging Pepe out as Ramos‘ centre-back partner for good in the 2015/16 season, Varane has become a stalwart at Real Madrid.
In his 364 appearances for Los Blancos, the defender has scored 17 goals – including two most recently against Huesca. This season, only Thibaut Courtois has played more minutes and more matches than Varane for Real Madrid.
Alongside Ramos, Marcelo and Karim Benzema, the French international is one of the senior players in Zidane‘s squad and a future captain. Can this convince him to stay?
If Varane doesn’t agree to extend his contract before the summer transfer window, Real Madrid will try to sell him. They know that Manchester United and PSG have followed him for some time, while Chelsea and Juventus are also interested.
Given that the centre-back has just one year left on his deal and given Real Madrid‘s financial strains during the coronavirus pandemic, any fee in the region of 50 million euros would be welcome.
If it is PSG who meet those requirements, Los Blancos could opt to build a strong trading relationship with the French club ahead of a possible move for Kylian Mbappe. Like Varane, the forward’s contract also expires in 2022.