Manchester United are reportedly the front-runners ahead of Chelsea in the race to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid this summer.

According to a report by The Athletic, the race to sign Raphael Varane in the summer transfer window continues to get more interesting by the day. Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are the Premier League clubs chasing his signature. The Red Devils are the likeliest suitor to sign him in a deal worth up to £45 million.

Varane has been one of the better performers for Real Madrid over the past decade or so, having steadily grown in stature at the Santiago Bernabeu before establishing himself as a key player in the first-team setup. To date, Varane has featured 360 times for Real Madrid while chipping in with 17 goals and seven assists.

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However, heading into this summer’s transfer window, Varane’s situation at Real Madrid is as uncertain as it has ever been. And following the confirmation of the departure of Sergio Ramos, it is being tipped that Varane could be the next defender in line to leave Real Madrid. This has piqued the interest of Manchester United, Chelsea and a few other marquee clubs in Europe.

Manchester United are seeking a reliable long-term central defensive partner for Harry Maguire, owing to the inconsistencies of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. With the duo also struggling with fitness issues this past season, signing a healthy centre-back is surely the need of the hour. To that end, Varane is a player Manchester United are keenly pursuing this summer.

Chelsea, on the other hand, need to lay down the succession plan for Thiago Silva, who is in the twilight of his career at 36. With captain Cesar Azpilicueta also on the wrong side of 30, the Blues could do with a central defender in his prime, with Varane a viable target.

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

However, Chelsea and Manchester City only have informal interest in the Real Madrid defender for now, with Manchester United likelier to push for a deal for the 28-year-old. But, the Red Devils need to be careful with their movements, as PSG are also keen on signing the Frenchman. Meanwhile, the report adds that a deal could be struck in the region of £40 million and £45 million.

What now remains to be seen is if Manchester United can quickly make a serious offer for Varane or risk a duel with Paris Saint-Germain for the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner. As things stand, it is likely that Varane will follow Sergio Ramos out the exit door at Real Madrid, possibly in a deal worth up to £45 million.

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