Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Jose Makes Real Defender a Marked Man

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Jose Makes Real Defender a Marked Man

Article excerpt

IF you gave Jose Mourinho a blank cheque to sign any player in world football right now, who would it be? Eden Hazard? Neymar? Kylian Mbappe? You would not put it past Mourinho to snub the lot of them. Even though he has a host of defenders at his disposal, the United boss remains keen on signing a quality centre-back this summer - so much so that United have delayed plans to sign a left-back.

That seems an odd decision given how Mourinho has already bought a centre-back in each of his first two summer transfer windows at Old Trafford. Also, United require overdue investment at left-back - it is four years since Luke Shaw came through the door.

But one name is top of Mourinho's fantasy list: Raphael Varane.

For as long as he is a professional footballer, the 25-yearold It would something to convince leave Real will be on United's radar but it would take something extraordinary to convince him to leave Real Madrid. Even United know that.

Before his World Cup heroics, one high-level source at United remarked that some of those defenders under consideration this summer are 'not possible and real.' .' Varane certainly falls into that category.

Fresh from winning both the Champions League and the World Cup, and establishing himself as a leader for club and country, Varane will surely be on the podium for the Ballon d'Or in December.

The last defender to be awarded the honour was Fabio Cannavaro, who also played for Madrid, in 2006.

Even if it does not happen for Varane this year, you would think he has the best chance of one day following in the Italian's footsteps. The speed, physique, composure, intelligence, maturity - whatever a top-class defender needs, Varane has it in abudance.

take extraordinary him to Madrid For all the great 'what ifs?' in Sir Alex Ferguson's 26 years at United - Ronaldo, Alan Shearer, Paolo Maldini, Paui Gascoigne and Ronaldinho all spring to mind - Varane is right up there. …

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