Raphael Varane is ready to Real Madrid after 10 years.
Manchester United reached an agreement to sign the 28-year-old from Los Blancos, the Premier league side announced Tuesday. The deal will reportedly cost the Red Devils around £35 million.
Varane became one of the game’s preeminent center-backs in the Spanish capital, winning the Champions League four times and La Liga on three occasions over 360 appearances with Madrid.
Acquired as a relative unknown from RC Lens in 2011, the Frenchman supplanted Pepe in the starting lineup in 2014-15, eventually forming a cohesive partnership with Sergio Ramos.
Madrid allowed Varane to leave with one year remaining on his contract.
The World Cup winner – known for his pace, aerial ability, and sense of calmness – will anchor United’s backline alongside Harry Maguire. Victor Lindelof, Maguire’s partner for the last two seasons, and Eric Bailly are expected to lose significant minutes as a result.
It’s not immediately clear if Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti will request a replacement for Varane. Though the club signed center-back David Alaba on a free transfer from Bayern Munich earlier in the transfer window, Ancelotti’s only other senior options are Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez, and Jesus Vallejo.
Los Blancos could use the windfall to cover losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent accounts show the club surrendered €300 million in revenue since March 2020.
Varane is United’s third signing of the summer after goalkeeper Tom Heaton and winger Jadon Sancho, bringing the club’s total spending to around £108 million.