Man Utd: The first six fixtures of the new Premier League season
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Manchester United are in the market for a new centre-back this summer and now that they have reached a transfer agreement with Borussia Dortmund to sign Jadon Sancho, they can now focus on strengthening their defence. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that he would like to bring in “two or three players” this summer.
He said: “We’re planning as we normally do. It’s not like end of season and let’s see what we do, that’s an ongoing process.
“We are looking at the squad, the players who are going to stay, those who might be leaving and I hope that we’re going to strengthen with a few.. two or three players that we definitely need to challenge higher up in the table.
“We’re still too far behind to think it is just going to come by itself.”
Real Madrid star Raphael Varane is thought to be United’s first choice centre-back target, while Pau Torres is also being considered.
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However, both players have been involved for their respective nations at Euro 2020, with Varane’s France getting eliminated in the last 16 by Switzerland and Torres’ Spain now set to face the Swiss in the quarter-finals.
Following France’s elimination, Varane has taken a three-week break and L’Equipe are reporting that he is ‘giving himself time to reflect’ before making a decision about his future.
The report also states that he wants to have a discussion with new Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti before making his mind up.
As a result, it seems unlikely that a deal will be struck soon.
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A separate report from Spanish outlet Defensa Central also claims that Madrid ‘are not going to make it easy for Manchester United to reach an agreement for Varane’.
It states that club president Florentino Perez ‘will try to get as much money as possible and will make negotiations difficult’.
Should United fail in their pursuit of Varane, it could be just as difficult to strike a deal for Torres, after the 24-year-old was recently named in Spain’s squad for the Tokyo Olympics.
Torres has already had a busy season, with Villarreal’s campaign extended thanks to their involvement in the Europa league final.
Less than a month later, Torres started Spain’s first game at the Euros and, with the Olympics due to begin on July 22, it seems unlikely that the 24-year-old will get a much-needed break before the start of the new season.
Should Spain go all the way, the final game is due to be played on August 7 and the Premier League season is due to get underway on August 13.
If he does indeed sign for United, Torres will have to take a break after the Olympics, meaning he could miss the first few weeks of the season.
As a result, United’s pursuit of both Varane and Torres is much more complicated than simply agreeing a transfer fee and personal terms.
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