Manchester United make £9m move for French star Varane
Manchester United have bid £9.2m for the French central defender Raphael Varane, as they continue to set the pace in the summer transfer market.
The 18-year-old Lens central defender is seen as a player for the future, but the price United are willing to pay reflects his reputation as one of the rising stars of the French game.
Lens' opening negotiating position was £10m and the major obstacle United appear to have is convincing him that he will get first-team opportunities at Old Trafford.
Varane said only a week ago that he would “think carefully” about the proposition of a move to United, stating: “What interests me is the playing time. I have to think twice and go to a club that will allow me to progress.”
Varane also suggested that “the most reasonable choice would be to stay in Ligue 1.”
Despite the struggle of Gabriel Obertan, one of the stars of his age group at France's Clairefontaine academy, to make headway at Old Trafford and a summer which has already seen Phil Jones added to United's young central defensive contingent, Sir Alex Ferguson has gone to lengths to persuade the player that he can learn the English game by signing now.
Paris Saint-Germain are among other contenders to sign the 6ft 3in defender, whose maturity in a Lens side which was relegated last season impressed United scouts. Reports in France also suggest that two Spanish clubs, including Real Madrid, are interested.
Though there had been some prospect of an arrangement by which Varane would be sold and loaned back to Lens or another French club, a permanent move is now United’s preference.