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Reports: Manchester United seek either Raphael Varane or Dayot Upamecano

Everton v Manchester United - Premier League
Everton v Manchester United - Premier League
Varun Totadri
ANALYST
Modified 19 Nov 2020, 13:51 IST
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Manchester United are reportedly planning to strengthen their defense in January. Two contrasting reports are linking the Red Devils to French center-halves Raphael Varane and Dayot Upamecano.

Manchester United have had a poor start to the 2020-21 Premier League campaign, losing three of their opening seven games. All three defeats have come in their four home games this season, conceding an astonishing ten goals in the process.

This has resulted in the Red Devils' defense coming in for much criticism. Manchester United's center-back pairing of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof was seen as the club's Achilles heel at the end of the 2019-20 season. With that, many expected United to sign a top-quality central defender in the summer.

Manchester United were linked with moves for the likes of Dayot Upamecano and Nathan Ake, but failed to sign a center-back. After experiencing an embarrassing start to the season, United have now reportedly decided to enter the winter transfer window and sign a center-back.

Manchester United want a new defender in January

RB Leipzig v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga
RB Leipzig v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga

The Daily Star report Manchester United will target Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane in January. He's entering the last 18 months of his contract with Los Blancos, which will considerably reduce his transfer fee.

Varane is also represented by Base Soccer Agency, with whom United have a productive relationship.

Sport Bild, however, report that Manchester United are more likely to sign long-term target Dayot Upamecano, who currently has a release clause worth €45 million with his current club RB Leipzig.

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Dayot Upamecano is one of the highest-rated young defenders in Europe. He would prove to be a longer-term investment than Varane, who is five years older. Upamecano would also cost less, as Manchester United would only need to trigger his release clause in order to sign him.

Raphael Varane, on the other hand, is one of the best defenders of his generation. The Frenchman he has made over 300 appearances for Real Madrid and has won 18 major honours. These include: three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, four FIFA Club World Cup titles and four UEFA Champions Leagues.

Varane is still only 27, but the possibility of him leaving Real Madrid midway through the season seems highly unlikely. Varane is a firm favorite of Real manager Zinedine Zidane, who helped bring the defender to the club in 2011.

Real Madrid are also rumoured to be working on offering Varane a contract extension to extend his nine-year stay at the Bernabeu. Therefore, a move for Dayot Upamecano would make more sense for Manchester United.

Published 19 Nov 2020, 13:51 IST
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