Transfer

Man Utd and Ratcliffe eyeing £35m cut-price replacement for Raphaël Varane

With Raphael Varane set to leave Manchester United this summer, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has reportedly turned his attention to landing a replacement for the Frenchman in a cut-price deal.

Man Utd transfer news

Varane confirmed the news that he would be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season following two years at Old Trafford. The Frenchman at least ended on a high, having started in the Red Devils’ shock FA Cup final victory over Manchester City. Running out 2-1 winners, Varane bowed out in the best way possible.

Now, however, those at Old Trafford have turned their attention towards finding a replacement for the former Real Madrid star, with the likes of Jarrad Branthwaite and Antonio Silva already mentioned. Branthwaite, in particular, would be an interesting option given the season that he has just enjoyed at Everton as a clear standout. As the Toffees look to ease financial concerns too, United could swoop in.


Jarrad-Branthwaite

Alas, Everton aren’t the only club in need of funds. According to Charlie Gordon of the Daily Express, Sporting CP in Portugal need to raise money and Manchester United are considering a move for Ousmane Diomande in a deal that could be worth as little as £35m. What’s more, with interest reportedly cooling elsewhere in the Premier League, Ratcliffe should be perfectly placed to land his Varane replacement.

Still just 20 years old and coming off the back of an excellent season in Portugal, Diomande could quickly prove to be the bargain of the summer if United make their move.

“Elite” Diomande can fill Varane void

Whilst Varane’s time at Manchester United may go down as what might have been at some points after injury troubles, replacing a World Cup and Champions League winner is still no easy task, but signing Diomande would do exactly that. Described as “elite” by Football Talent Scout’s Jacek Kulig, the central defender can step into the Frenchman’s role and more with a move to Old Trafford.

League stats per 90 23/24 (via FBref)

Ousmane Diomande

Raphael Varane

Starts

25

16

Progressive Carries

0.94

1.05

Progressive Passes

5.15

3.86

Tackles Won

1.02

0.72

Ball Recoveries

5.62

4.38

As Ratcliffe looks to finally transform Manchester United into a club capable of competing among the Premier League’s very best, signings such as Diomande would go a long way.

The Sporting man ticks the box for his age, potential and current ability, which is particularly important when rebuilding Erik ten Hag’s backline, given that Jonny Evans is 36 years old and Harry Maguire is 31. Only time will tell whether Diomande is the man that Ratcliffe turns toward, however, with a number of options linked with a summer move.

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