Liverpool will not rival Man Utd for £60m Raphael Varane transfer this summer
According to the Liverpool Echo (16/05/21, 09:27), Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield natives have no interest in signing Manchester United target Raphael Varane from Real Madrid this summer.
Varane had been touted for a potential move to Merseyside at the end of the season by the Manchester Evening News, who suggested the Reds had joined the Red Devils in contacting the France international’s representatives.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are expected to go all-out in pursuit of Varane in hopes of ending a 10-year wish of bringing him to Old Trafford, with the centre-half set to enter the final year of his Galacticos contract this summer.
But Liverpool are not said to share those desires, with the Reds’ alleged interest quashed as Varane does not feature on Klopp’s five-man shortlist of centre-half targets that includes RB Leipzig enforcer Ibrahima Konate.
In fact, it is claimed there is ‘no chance’ of the Anfield natives rivalling United for Varane, despite Real Madrid President Florentino Perez being intent on selling the defender to avoid him leaving for free next year and setting an asking price of close to £60million.
Varane also believes that now is the time to explore a new challenge away from Spain, most likely in the Premier League (AS), as another long-term contract with Los Blancos would be expected to prevent a transfer during the 27-year-old’s prime seasons.
Liverpool are thought to have agreed to personal terms with Konate ahead of signing the Frenchman on a five-year deal, with the Reds activating a €35m (£30.1m) release clause in his Leipzig contract (Fabrizio Romano).
If Liverpool are as close to signing Konate as seems to be the case, Klopp would not necessarily need to add Varane beside the Leipzig enforcer and Virgil van Dijk next season, and use the difference in valuations to strengthen other areas of his squad in the summer.
But, if Konate is not on his way to Anfield, Liverpool would likely regret not rivalling Manchester United for Varane, who Eden Hazard considers to be ‘one of the best central defenders in the world’ (France Info) given his leadership and known talents.
Varane would undoubtedly increase the quality of any defensive unit he features in, which Liverpool are rightly looking to address having conceded the same number of goals in the Premier League this season (42) as Brighton and United, plus more than last term (33).
Instead, they look set to hand their rivals a boost in the race to sign Varane, by taking away a potentially attractive destination when a move away from Real Madrid seems increasingly realistic.