Manchester United agree £42m fee for Real Madrid defender Raphaël Varane

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<span>Photograph: REX/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Manchester United have agreed a fee for the Real Madrid defender Raphaël Varane with the signing expected to be completed next week.

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The 28-year-old Frenchman has only one year left on his contract and Real are open to letting him leave this summer for a fee rather than on a free transfer next year. Talks have been held over the last week and the €50m (£42.7m) fee has now been agreed with a medical planned in the coming days.

Varane, who will sign a four-year contract with an option for another 12 months at United, left Lens in 2011 and has helped bring several trophies to the Bernabéu, including four Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles. He has played 79 times for France and was part of the side that won the 2018 World Cup.

When United complete the deal, Varane will be their third acquisition of the summer. Last week, Jadon Sancho completed his £73m move from Borussia Dortmund, and they have also re-signed the goalkeeper Tom Heaton, following his departure from Burnley.

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All this makes it a pleasing few weeks for Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the United manager, who recently signed a contract extension until 2024, saying: “Everyone knows the feeling I have for this club, and I am delighted to have signed this new contract. It is an exciting time for Manchester United, we have built a squad with a good balance of youth and experienced players that are hungry for success.

“I have a fantastic coaching team around me, and we are all ready to take that next step on our journey. Manchester United wants to be winning the biggest and best trophies and that’s what we are all striving for. We have improved, both on and off the pitch, and that will continue over the coming seasons.

“I can’t wait to get out in front of a packed Old Trafford and get this campaign started.”

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