Manchester United’s may have cause for renewed hope in their pursuit of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane due to a number of factors.
The Red Devils are known admirers of Varane, who has emerged as one of the best centre-backs in the world.
And if there’s one thing United could do with right now - it’s a world-class centre-back.
So with the January transfer window fast approaching, could there be a chance that Varane could make the move to Old Trafford? It appears so.
One of the main issues with United’s interest in Varane was Real Madrid’s sky high asking price.
The La Liga side are understood to have demanded well in excess of £100m in line with his valuation back when Jose Mourinho was desperate for a centre-half in the 2018 summer window.
However, as Varane approaches the last 18 months of his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, to has no doubt slipped along with the general economy in football.
His recent form also suggests that he’s a worse defender than United reject Phil Jones - sort of.
Varane has bagged two own goals in the last month, a worse record than Jones has in his whole career.
There are two more important factors that could well come into play.
Varane switched agent to Base Soccer agency in September, who United have a productive relationship with.
Moreover, the 28-year-old’s idol growing up was Rio Ferdinand, which also made him a boyhood United fan.
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Finally, the words of Sir Alex Ferguson show that United have always been destined to sign Varane, if it weren’t for Zinedine Zidane himself.
"I hurtled down on the train from Euston to Lille to sign the young French defender Raphael Varane," Ferguson wrote in Leading in 2015.
"David Gill was getting into the finer points of the contract with Lens when Zinedine Zidane got wind of this and somehow scooped him up for Real Madrid from under our noses."