Raphael Varane has arrived in England but will have to undergo a period of quarantine before making his move to Manchester United official, according to reports.
United recently confirmed they had agreed a deal with Real Madrid to sign Varane, who was entering the final year of his contract in the Spanish capital. His addition to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad would be a major coup for the club; the World Cup winner should be the perfect centre-back partner for captain Harry Maguire.
Before he can get to work, though, the move must still go through its final phases. Namely, Varane must complete a medical and put pen to paper on his contract.
There have been doubts over when that will be taking place, but according to Fabrizio Romano, Varane is landing in Manchester.
The reporter expects an official announcement imminently that will see Varane’s four-year contract, with the option for an additional 12 months, confirmed.
It is still unclear when the defender will be available for the club he is about to join. He is due to undergo a period of quarantine before finalising the move.
However, the Manchester Evening News have relayed a confidence that Varane could be in contention for Man Utd’s season opener against Leeds on August 14th – as long as they register him by noon the day before.
It remains to be seen in what capacity he will be available; while he should be able to play, his hopes of starting will depend on his fitness levels.
Varane had an extended holiday after his Euro 2020 involvements with France before returning to Madrid. He has not played in any of their pre-season friendlies, though, so likely has some work to do to get back up to full speed.
But his presence will be a major boost for United as soon as the deal gets over the line. And it appears it is only a matter of time.
Man Utd’s new-look defence praised
While it will be a couple of weeks yet before the Maguire-Varane partnership will be in action, expectations are already high.
Former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips said the combination has the potential to be as good as what United had in the Sir Alex Ferguson era.
“You build a good side with a solid defence,” Phillips told Football Insider. “Varane coming in alongside Harry Maguire, with Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a very good backline.
“Wan-Bissaka is due a good season and Shaw was brilliant during the summer.
“From the era I played in when you had your Ferdinand’s and Vidic’s, it’s like Man Utd are getting back to that.
“Bringing in established players with that quality and in Varane they have that, he’s brilliant.
“I imagine the players are delighted. It gives you a load of confidence, especially for the attackers.
“They now have two of the best in the world for that position, maybe it’s a sign of the times that they are getting back to where they once were.”