Liverpool reportedly want a defender that earned rare Rafa Benitez praise in 2015
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Liverpool reportedly want a defender that earned rare Rafa Benitez praise in 2015

Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane this summer and it is believed that they have informed the Frenchman they will try to sign him – a player that once earned rare praise from Rafa Benitez.

Liverpool need a centre-back. Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk’s absence has seen a big hole emerge, and they have been left down to the bare bones – with Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip and Fabinho all sidelines. Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies have been signed.

According to Diario Madrid, World Cup winner Varane has been targeted by Liverpool and the 27-year-old has been told by Liverpool that they will try to sign him. However, the Reds face competition from Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

The report claims interested parties will have to part with £43million for Varane, who is set to enter the final 12 months of his contract in the summer. Already considered one of the best defenders in Europe, Varane was praised by Benitez in 2015.

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“When a player like Raphael does well it’s because he has been working so hard,” Benitez said six years ago, as per Tribal Football. “That hard work reinforces the quality and potential he already possesses naturally.

“The competition with his team-mates helps him develop and play even better. He’s doing a good job at a very important team. His numbers are impressive,” Liverpool legend Benitez continued, having managed Varane at Real Madrid.

TBR’s view – Varane is the perfect type of defender for Liverpool

The Reds play with a high defensive line and a high press that means their defenders need pace if they get turned – something which happens regularly as clubs look to play in behind. Gomez, van Dijk, Matip, Fabinho and even Henderson are all quick.

Varane has bags of pace, and plenty of technique and quality on the ball. He is still young at 27, but enormous experience – with more than 350 appearances at Real, and 70 caps for France. At £43million, he is a bargain.

Certainly, if you gain public praise from Benitez, you know you are a top, top player. Steven Gerrard has even commented on Benitez’s lack of praise in public or behind the scenes – so for his verdict on Varane to go public, is quite something.

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