Manchester United have four players Real Madrid may accept in Raphael Varane swap deal

Real Madrid: Varane coy when quizzed on future

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Manchester United are keen on landing Raphael Varane when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season. But with Real Madrid likely to be stubborn negotiators, a swap deal could be the way to get a deal done. So Express Sport will now take a look at four players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side may use as bait to land the 2018 World Cup winner.

David De Gea

We’ve been here before, of course.

Real Madrid wanted to sign De Gea back in the summer transfer window of 2015, only to end up missing out at the last minute.

De Gea has been a good asset for United in the years since, helping them win three major trophies in the form of the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League.

But with the shot-stopper currently behind Dean Henderson in the pecking order, a summer exit could beckon.

Real are fortunate to have Thibaut Courtois between the sticks but De Gea may be too attractive to turn down.

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Donny van de Beek

Had all gone to plan, Donny van de Beek would have joined Real Madrid in last summer’s transfer window.

But with Los Blancos strapped for cash at the time, the midfielder ended up leaving Ajax to move to Old Trafford instead.

It’s been a torrid campaign for the Netherlands international, whose spell with the Red Devils hit a new low after being snubbed for the club’s Europa League match with Granada on Thursday night.

So United could feasibly offer him up.

Van de Beek is talented but doesn’t appear to be in Solskjaer’s plans for the future. For that reason, a move to La Liga would make sense.


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Paul Pogba

United want to keep Paul Pogba.

It spoke volumes he was made captain for the match against Granada, with Solskjaer convinced he’s committed to the cause.

As things stand, however, the France international is yet to sign a new contract – with his current deal expiring next year.

If United enter the summer with that still the case, then including Pogba in a swap deal would make sense.

The midfielder has long been admired by Zinedine Zidane and a reunion could suit all parties involved.

Anthony Martial

United have had Anthony Martial at the club ever since 2015, when he arrived from Ligue 1 side Monaco.

But the France international has never fulfilled the potential of his early years and, therefore, may be sold.

Solskjaer has publicly backed Martial yet, behind the scenes, is daring to dream of a blockbuster summer move for Erling Haaland.

Martial may be attractive to Real as an alternative to Kylian Mbappe, who is currently their preferred target.

And a move to Spain could be just what the 25-year-old needs to resurrect his career.

Varane’s verdict

Speaking in 2016, Varane admitted he was flattered by interest from United – and labelled the Red Devils a ‘big club’.

“Of course it’s flattering,” he said. “Manchester United are a very big club.

“But from the moment when Madrid and I are in sync on my project, there’s no questions to ask yourself.

“I have always said I feel good in Madrid.

“It’s not easy to say ‘No’ to Jose Mourinho, but you have to weigh up the pros and the cons. We’re men, we have decisions to make and that’s how it is.”

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