Chelsea have reportedly made Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane their top summer transfer target, with Blues manager Jose Mourinho having grown frustrated with his current centre-back pairing of John Terry and Gary Cahill.
Reports in the Daily Mirror have confirmed Mourinho’s interest in the 21-year-old, who he managed during his time with the European Champions. However, we’re not convinced that the Frenchman would be an upgrade on their current crop.
Varane was part of the Madrid defence that conceded four goals at home to Schalke in the Champions League on Tuesday, and clearly still has a lot to learn before he reaches the level Mourinho craves. With a price tag likely to be in the region of around £30m, would the Stamford Bridge side do better to look at a more established star?
Here are ten candidates that we think could fill that role:
10) Kamil Glik (Torino)
Not the big name Chelsea fans will be expecting, but a quality player with plenty of experience. The Polish international, 27, has been one of the stars of Serie A so far this season.
9) Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao)
The 20-year-old is less experienced than Varane, but at just 20 has equally huge potential. With a less well known name and a smaller price tag, he shouldn’t carry the same weight of expectation.