Chelsea have reportedly joined Manchester United in the race to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid this coming summer.

According to reputed German journalist Christian Falk, Raphael Varane is the subject of interest from Chelsea over a move in the summer transfer window. The French defender, who is reportedly open to leaving Real Madrid, is also being courted by Manchester United.

Varane has established himself as one of the best defenders of his generation since joining Real Madrid from Lens in the summer of 2011. For much of the past decade, the French international has been a key figure for Los Blancos, and has gone on to win numerous trophies at club level while also winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup with France.

Heading into the summer transfer window, however, it has been stipulated that Varane could be on his way out of Real Madrid, for whom he has turned out 355 times. The 27-year-old has a little over a year remaining on his current deal with the Merengues and it has been suggested that he is not willing to sign the dotted line to extend his stay at the club. This has alerted Manchester United and Chelsea.

Manchester United hold a long-standing interest in Varane, having made a couple of attempts to sign him previously. This coming summer, though, might be their best chance yet to swoop the wantaway French defender from Real Madrid, with recent reports even suggesting that they were in advanced talks to sign him.

The keenness to finally land of Varane makes sense as well, considering Eric Bailly is facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford amid suggestions that he is not willing to sign a renewal. With Victor Lindelof struggling with a chronic back issue this season, Varane could come in as a regular partner for Harry Maguire. Manchester United, though, now face competition from Chelsea for the Real Madrid defender.

Chelsea bolstered their defence last summer by signing Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr. But while Sarr could take time to settle in at Stamford Bridge upon returning from his loan spell with FC Porto, Silva is 36 and is approaching the end of his career. Furthermore, with AC Milan eager to sign Fikayo Tomori on a permanent deal, it is not hard to see why Chelsea would want a centre-back.

Three potential destinations for Real Madrid star Raphael Varane | THT Opinions

To that end, the Blues have been linked with a number of central defender, including Nikola Milenkovic, who is also a target for Manchester United. And, Varane is also a viable target for Chelsea, with Christian Falk claiming that Thomas Tuchel wants to bring the Frenchman in from Real Madrid this summer.

Real Madrid, on their part, seem to be preparing for life after Varane as well, with Jules Kounde among those identified as possible replacement options. As far as the Frenchman himself is concerned, it will be interesting to see if either of Manchester United and Chelsea can swoop him away from the Spanish capital, or if Real Madrid manage to somehow secure his long-term future.

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