Manchester United hope to make Real Madrid center-back Raphael Varane their next high-profile signing of the summer after Jadon Sancho, with the four-time Champions League winner potentially the last piece of the puzzle behind.
Harry Maguire has done well since joining United for a world record £ 80 million in 2019, but could still be so much more if he has the right partner together. Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have not been, but fans are happy that Varane could definitely get his quality and proven success.
Varane will be a longtime partner of Man Utd captain Harry Maguire / Matthew Ashton – AMA / Getty Images
United supporters are already dreaming of Varane standing behind four behind Maguire and flanked by Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Varane has long used the jersey number five for Real Madrid and took it over from Fabio Coentrao in 2016. But that jersey is already occupied by Maguire at Old Trafford.
Varane had previously had number two in four seasons at Real. It is also busy at Old Trafford, after being used by Victor Lindelof 2017. Although Varane is expected to take Lindelof’s place in the team, the Swede will remain an important squad player.
The second jersey number Varane has been closely associated with during his career is four, having used it almost exclusively for France since making his senior international debut in 2013.
It may actually be possible at United. It is still occupied by Phil Jones, who has had it since arriving at Old Trafford a decade ago, but the 29-year-old has only played eight times since the start of the 2019/20 campaign and not at all last season.
Phil Jones last played for Man Utd in January 2020 and would have to give up # 4 for Varane to take it / Gareth Copley / Getty Images
Jones, who is still under contract until 2023, would have to give up his shirt for Varane to get it, as it is unlikely he will find a willing club given how knee injuries have damaged his career recently.
In the event that Jones does not want to give up his shirt, others would be available for Varane 12, 24 and 25, all of whom have numbers with which he still has associations.
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