Manchester United to battle Chelsea for superb young centre-back

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Manchester United will look to land Chelsea target Raphael Varane next summer, according to the Sunday Times via the Daily Star.

The young French centre-back, who was brought to Real Madrid by Blues boss Jose Mourinho in 2011, wasn’t always a starter under former manager Carlo Ancelotti but appears to be a more important part of Rafa Benitez’s plans.

The 22-year-old French international has started both of Real Madrid’s opening La Liga fixtures, and the Bernabeu side has kept clean sheets in both matches, with Pepe being left on the bench as Rafa Benitez continues to show faith in a Sergio Ramos-Raphael Varane partnership.

This seemingly hasn’t diluted Man United’s interest in Varane, and Louis van Gaal could well do with a fresh central defensive option to call upon.

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Van Gaal has opted to use utility man Daley Blind as a central defensive partner for Chris Smalling thus far this season, and the position is not one that best suits the Dutchman.

The likes of Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Jonny Evans, who has now been sold to West Bromwich Albion, all failed to impress on a consistent enough basis last season and as such, a move to bring in a new defender would be a sensible option to consider in the long-term.

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