5 defenders on Man Utd’s shortlist after Varane makes Real Madrid admission

Manchester United could be forced to reassess their defensive transfer targets, after Raphael Varane confirmed he is “100% committed” to Real Madrid.

The World Cup winner is set to become a free agent at the end of next season and there have been suggestions that Los Blancos could cash in this summer.

However, Varane has updated fans and suggested he has no intention of leaving: "My future is clear; I am focused on the end of the season.

"We are in an intense moment, and all our focus is on the matches we have ahead.

"The message to the fans is that I am 100 per cent committed to the team. We have challenges that encourage us a lot. I am focused on giving everything on the field."

With that in mind, here are five other centre-backs, that Manchester United could sign to partner Harry Maguire at the heart of the defence.

Pau Torres

The Villarreal defender has been extensively linked with a move to Old Trafford and reports have claimed that his representatives have been contacted.

Torres' release clause is set at €50million, which could rise to €65m if United do not act quickly, but the Spaniard has recently claimed he is relaxed about the whole situation.

“It’s a pride to see that your work is reflected in these kind of things that are talked about,” he told Sport. “But I face it with a lot of calm, I’m in a great club like Villarreal, and from the tranquillity, I work every day.

“I’m not thinking about that (taking a step forward) either, there’s still a long way to go, and my short-term objectives are the European semi-final and then to be available for the national team."

Ben White

Ben White is believed to be Maguire’s first choice to play alongside him at Manchester United, with a number of clubs linked with the Brighton star.

According to The Transfer Window podcast, Maguire has told Solskjaer that White is the sort of player he wants to play alongside.

He is said to believe White will complement his game as well as being keen on the fact he is English speaking.

The ball-playing defender has impressed in his first season in the top-flight, after starring for Leeds on loan in 2019/20.

White won’t come cheap however and could cost as much £50m, after he penned a new deal.

Jules Kounde

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could turn to Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, who was part of the team that dumped United out of the Europa League last season.

He has continued to impress this season and has reportedly made his way onto their transfer shortlist.

The 22-year-old, who joined the La Liga side from Bordeaux in 2019, is attracting plenty of interest around Europe.

Like White, he could cost more than £50m, which could be difficult due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Edmond Tapsoba

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According to the Express, United have received a top-off from a well respected figure in the German game and have since been scouting the Bayer Leverkusen star.

Taposba has only been playing in Europe since the start of last season, but has emerged as one of the most highly rated players in the Bundesliga.

A player that has modelled his game on Virgil van Dijk and John Stones, he could offer the kind of defender that United have been lacking.

Sergio Ramos

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  • While Varane looks set to stay in the Spanish capital, his Real Madrid teammate looks increasingly likely to move on.

    Out of contract in a matter of weeks, the Los Blancos legend coud finally complete a move to the Premier League.

    Club president Florentino Perez admitted that it would be difficult to tie him to a new contract due to their current financial woes.

    It would be a more short-term option, but would bring a serial winner to Solskjaer’s trophy-shy squad.

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