Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd hit with crazy demand to sign top Serie A star as door opens for shock Raphael Varane move

Gleison Bremer and Raphael Varane alongside the Man Utd badge

Gleison Bremer and Raphael Varane alongside the Man Utd badge

Manchester United have been hit by a new staggering valuation by Juventus for star defender Gleison Bremer, while the man he looks set to replace at Old Trafford, Raphael Varane, appears to have the welcome mat laid out for him by a Ligue 1 side.

The Red Devils are gearing up for what is expected to be a summer of wholesale changes both on and off the pitch. With Sir Jim Ratcliffe now having got his feet very firmly under the table at Old Trafford, work is underway at transforming Manchester United back in the elite force they were in the glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson.

To help them along their way, the British billionare has installed a crack team of specialists at Old Trafford to ensure they hit their targets as quickly as possible with Jean-Claude Blanc arriving as a director and Jason Wilcox already in place as their new technical director.

In a matter of weeks, United will also welcome Omar Berrada as new CEO after he was convinced to quit Manchester City, while Dan Ashworth will become the club’s first-ever sporting director once compensation is finalised with Newcastle.

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Between them, the five men will look to navigate the stormy waters that comes with the running of the club, while matters on the transfer market and first-team squad central to that.

In terms of incoming new signings, Ratcliffe is understood to have made clear he would like to bring in four big-name additions this summer to help rejuvenate the squad, with a centre-half, a midfielder, a striker and a right winger top of the agenda.

Raphael Varane offered chance to join Ligue 1 side

Of course, any new arrival will likely cost significant fees and it’s not just a case of Ratcliffe dipping into his pocket and spending whatever he chooses on players, with the club’s finances having to be carefully balanced to ensure United remain with their Financial Fair Play (FFP) limitations.

As a result, a number of big-name stars and high earners will find themselves moving on both this summer and in subsequent transfer windows.

To kick things off, United have already confirmed that Anthony Martial and Raphael Varane will leave the club this summer at the end of their contracts and leaving them free to find new clubs.

Those two departures alone will save United a staggering £590,000 a week owing to the colossal fees the two Frenchmen took home between them, with Ratcliffe set to bring in a more cost-effective wages policy in time.

Varane alone was earning £340,000 a week and where he ends up next may depend on whichever club can get closest to matching his wage demands.

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Clubs in Saudi Arabia have been predictably been linked, though one of his former clubs in Lens, have now made their feelings clear about the possibility of re-signing their former star.

The Ligue 1 side’s coach Franck Haise stated: “Obviously Raphael Varane can interest me.

“By his qualities as a player, by his qualities as a leader, by his human qualities, by everything he represents and by everything he is still capable of giving, I am sure.

“After that the financial aspects don’t just depend on me, but if there was a possibility I would be the happiest coach.”

However, a deal looks difficult with Lens’ current highest earners being  Brice Samba and Elye Wahi, who are on an estimated £50,000 a week.

Man Utd told huge costs to sign Gleison Bremer

United are well down the line in identifying potential replacements for Varane with Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite and Gleison Bremer of Juventus emerging as their two favoured options.

Any sort of deal for Branthwaite would likely set United back a minimum £60m after the defender earmarked himself as one of the Premier League’s outstanding young centre-halves this season.

But if Ratcliffe hoped a potential deal for Juventus man Bremer would come in for any less, he may need to think again after the Serie A giants made clear their demands for his sale.

Having watched the Brazilian in action once again this week for Juve in the Coppa Italia final against Atalanta, United are understood to have now made contact with the Bianconeri over a prospective deal.

However, Juve have told they expect a minimum €70m (£60m) fee for the 27-year-old if they are to consider his sale this summer. That’s some €10m (£8.6m) more than United had initially expected to pay.

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Such a price will likely leave United with a straight choice betweent the two men and there is little doubting Bremer has the qualities to shine in the Premier League.

This season he has boasted an 86% pass accuracy, playing an average of four long balls per game, though it is his numbers defensively that tell the best story where he has won 5.3 duels and 1.6 tackles per game, while also averaging 4.1 clearances and 5.4 recoveries.

Juve have also kept 15 clean sheets in Serie A this season with the four-cap Brazilian in their defence.