Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is reportedly embarking on a transfer revenge mission to deny Manchester United a deal for Raphael Varane.
After finally securing a mega-money deal for Jadon Sancho, United’s transfer team has shifted its focus. Football director John Murtough reportedly wants a new centre-back to become Harry Maguire’s long-term ally. Indeed, France international Varane looks the most likely candidate so far.
The 28-year-old has entered the final year of his contract, but has reportedly told Madrid that he wants to leave. As such, United supposedly stepped up negotiations last week.
One journalist has subsequently claimed that the defender now has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford.
According to Spanish outlet Defensa Central, however, controversial chief Perez has other ideas.
The 74-year-old wants to make it as hard as possible for United to seal Varane’s transfer, including by pushing his transfer fee up.
While earlier reports claimed that Madrid value him at £50million, Perez will now demand at least €65million (£56million).
Furthermore, Madrid officials will make negotiations ‘difficult’ in an attempt to deter United. Such an approach has worked before, with agent Mino Raiola proving an obstacle in the Red Devils’ hunt for Erling Haaland.
Perez has reportedly decided to make United’s life harder because of the transfer ‘tricks’ the Old Trafford club have played on the Spanish giants in recent years.
The relationship between the clubs in the 2000s was strong, with Ruud van Nistelrooy, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo all securing moves to Madrid.
However, similar transfers for David de Gea and Paul Pogba did not materialise in the 2010s; the former was set for a move, only for late paperwork to deny him.
Perez now wants to get revenge on United by doing all he can to scupper their hopes of signing Varane.
Speaking last month, the president said of the player’s future: ” We’ve not received any official bid for Raphael Varane.
“He’s at the Euros now then we will see what happens – if he wants to leave the club this summer, he’ll say it.”
Varane ally set for PSG transfer
Meanwhile, Varane’s long-term Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos is closing in on a move to Paris Saint-Germain, reports claim.
Speculation heightened over his future when he became a free agent, with United having links.
However, journalist Fabrizio Romano has said that the Spaniard will soon undergo a medical over a move.