Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Raphael Varane can play his part in a more attacking formation next season, according to a report.
Solskjaer has enjoyed something of a rollercoaster in his time at Old Trafford so far. Criticism followed an early period of success, including a dramatic away win at Paris Saint-Germain. However, the Red Devils have progressed following the arrival of attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
Often starting attacks in a 4-2-3-1 formation, the Portugal international has had a stellar impact.
Still, the partnership of Fred and Scott McTominay further back in midfield has formed the defensive bedrock. The pair have even earned the nickname ‘McFred’ among fans.
According to ESPN, though, the pair will be at risk because Solskjaer plans to adopt an attacking 4-3-3 formation from next season.
The Norwegian manager wants to include more of his attacking players in the formation, alongside one holding midfielder.
Indeed, he wants to see Donny van De Beek or Paul Pogba play alongside Fernandes in the midfield trio. Van de Beek struggled for game time in his debut season, but this would offer him a more central role.
Pogba, meanwhile, demonstrated again his attacking ability while starring for France at Euro 2020. He admitted, though, that he has been happy to compromise for a more defensive role at United.
Moving to a more attacking formation and losing potentially both Fred and McTominay would, as it stands, leave the Red Devils vulnerable.
However, Solskjaer feels confident that Real Madrid defender Varane would plug the gap alongside Harry Maguire.
Reports on Friday indicated that United expect to announce his £50million signing by the end of next week.
Furthermore, full-backs Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw will have roles to play. Wan-Bissaka, in particular, has proved his defensive attributes for United.
Kieran Trippier is supposedly set to swell United’s full-back ranks, but he is mainly being brought in to add more attacking threat.
Man Utd have transfer reservations
As well as Varane and Trippier, reports have linked United with a move for midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.
The Rennes star, despite still only 18, has already made waves across Europe.
The Red Devils have interest, but also have concerns about a potential deal.