Man Utd continue chase for World-Cup winning defender

Real Madrid have reportedly given Manchester United the green light to land Raphael Varane this summer.

It’s understood that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to strengthen his defence at the end of the campaign and is targeting a new centre-half to partner Harry Maguire.

Sevilla prodigy Jules Kounde is on the Red Devils’ shortlist, although the PL side are allegedly unwilling to trigger his £68 million buy-out clause.

According to multiple reports, the Old Trafford side are also targeting Varane and the Frenchman is considered as a more attainable signing in the summer.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Los Blancos are expecting Manchester United to firm up their interest at the end of the term having failed to sign the France international during Jose Mourinho’s reign.

The report also adds that the 20-time English champions view Varane as a player who would swiftly adapt to the Premier League.

Elsewhere, Manchester Evening News also reports that the Galacticos are willing to sell Varane to the English side.

Varane has been offered a fresh contract but Madrid are said to be ‘pessimistic’ regarding the defender’s desire to extend his deal.

His current deal expires at the end of next season and Zinedine Zidane’s team are looking to secure a transfer sum for the 27-year-old in the summer rather than see him leave for nothing in 2022.

Meanwhile, Manchester United will allegedly be forced to pay Sporting CP another €5 million (£4.2m) if Bruno Fernandes wins the award of the PFA Player of the Year.

The 26-year-old star has been in excellent form for United during the 2020-21 campaign, netting 22 times and registering 13 assists in 40 appearances across all competitions.

He has 15 goals and 11 assists in 27 PL outings, meanwhile, and is regarded as one of the frontrunners to win the PFA award.

According to The Times, the club would have to pay Sporting another €5m (£4.2m) if the playmaker finishes in the top three of the Ballon d’Or vote or lands the award in question.