Manchester United promised to spend up to £100million this summer to secure Jose Mourinho’s top central defensive target, a report claims.
United boss Mourinho endured a frustrating summer whereby a number of his defensive targets, such as Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire and Jerome Boateng all slipped through the net.
However, the Manchester Evening News claims it was Real Madrid superstar Raphael Varane who was Mourinho’s top target and it’s claimed the club told the United boss they would spend up to £100million to bring the World Cup winning defender to Old Trafford.
But the paper claims that United’s efforts to persuade the European champions to sell the defender fell on deaf ears, with the Real Madrid hierarchy in no mood to discuss the potential sale of the former Lens man, who was brought to the Bernabeu by Mourinho himself back in 2011.
Varane is contract to the Bernabeu until 2022 and Real believed his value could soar in the years to come, given the world record fee of £75million Liverpool forked out on defender Virgil van Dijk back in January.
Varane has been a standout performer for Real in recent years and has won the Champions League trophy four times during his stint at the club.
Meanwhile, the failure to land Alderweireld this summer has prompted the Belgian to discuss the reported interest from the Red Devils and his future at Tottenham.
“I quickly came to understand, together with my advisors, that I would be staying put at Tottenham,” Alderweireld said. “However, I can’t talk about all that was said in a news conference (by Pochettino).
“It is even a personal triumph for me to have got my place back in their team. I worked hard for it. It is not a disappointment for me that I did not get a transfer. I did not want to leave at all costs.
“People said that I wanted to leave the club, but that was not true. Not everything that has been said in the media has been correct. I just try to help Tottenham as I can with the abilities I have.
“The World Cup was good for me. I worked hard and showed what I can do. I’m now on cloud nine with the birth of my daughter, Ayla, and I’m always glad to play for Belgium. So I am happy on all levels.”
News of the failure to land Varane comes just a day after it was claimed United had a world record £222.5m bid for Gareth Bale accepted by Real – only for the player to turn his back on the deal.
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