Manchester United FINALLY confirm the £42m signing of Raphael Varane and Frenchman is paraded at Old Trafford before kick-off with Leeds as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lands a star centre back to pair with Harry Maguire
- Man United have clinched the signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the Frenchman one of his top defensive targets
- The centre back – seen as one of the best in the world – arrives for £42million
- Varane has signed until 2025 and defender will wear No 19 shirt at United
- Old Trafford erupted as Varane was paraded on the pitch ahead of Leeds game
- He is set to slot in alongside club captain Harry Maguire in the heart of defence
Manchester United have finally sealed the signing of French World Cup-winning centre back Raphael Varane.
The 28-year-old arrives from Real Madrid for £42million in what is a statement signing from United as they look to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title.
He has signed a four-year contract at Old Trafford and will wear No 19 for United.
Varane was unveiled on the pitch at Old Trafford ahead of United’s opening Premier League match of the season against Leeds, receiving a rapturous reception.
Raphael Varane was unveiled to the Old Trafford crowd after Manchester United confirmed his £42million signing from Real Madrid on Saturday
The French centre back emerged as a top target for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right)
Varane said: ‘Manchester United is one of the most iconic clubs in world football and the chance to come here and play in the Premier League is something I couldn’t turn down.
‘There is a lot more that I want to achieve in my career and I know I’m joining a squad full of great players who will all have the same determination to win matches and trophies.
‘Having spoken to the manager I can see how much progress has been made over the last few seasons and I now join a group ready to play at the highest level.
‘I want to make an impact here and I will give everything to become part of this club’s illustrious history.’
Solskjaer added: ‘I’m absolutely delighted that we have managed to secure one of the best defenders in the world over the last ten years.
‘Raphael is a proven winner who we have tracked over a long period of time and we know just how much of a dedicated professional he is.
‘We have great depth of international defenders and he will add his immense skill set and leadership to that group. He is a unique defender with a rare combination of top-level attributes that I know will rub off on our younger players.
‘He has won everything there is to win but I know that he is still determined to succeed, I can’t wait to welcome him into the squad.’
Varane, who saw the move delayed due to quarantine restrictions upon arriving in Manchester, becomes the club’s third addition of the summer transfer window.
Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already brought in winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund and goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
Varane – viewed as one of the best defenders in world football – should have fans brimming with confidence that they are now equipped to take on the heavyweights of the division.
Varane emerged as a top defensive target for Solskjaer and he is now set to slot into United’s defence alongside skipper Harry Maguire.
His move had been all but confirmed after United agreed a fee with Real Madrid last month, with the player undergoing a period of quarantine before completing his medical – and now he has been officially unveiled.
The player had already posted his farewell message to Madrid after ending a trophy-laden 10-year spell at the Bernabeu that saw him land three LaLiga titles and four Champions League trophies – teasing ‘a new chapter begins’.
He said: ‘The last 10 years have been amazing not only on an emotional level, a human level, but also a professional one.
Varane arrives for £42m and brings international pedigree and an impressive trophy record
He becomes United’s third major signing of the window after sealing a deal for Jadon Sancho
‘After 10 incredible and wonderful years at Real Madrid, a club that I will always carry in my heart, the day has come to say goodbye.
‘Since I arrived in 2011, together we have exceeded all expectations and achieved things that I could never have dreamed of.
‘Many thanks also to all the Madridistas who always gave me a lot of affection and with their great demand they pushed me to give my best and fight for every success.
‘I have had the honour of sharing a dressing room with the best players in the world. Countless victories that I will never forget, especially ‘La Decima’.
‘Finally, I want to thank all Spaniards and especially to the city of Madrid, where my two children were born. This country will always be special to me.
The ex-Real Madrid man updated fans last week on his solo training regime in Manchester
The 28-year-old had effectively confirmed the move by posting a farewell to Madrid fans
‘It has been an incredible journey in every way. I leave with the feeling of having given everything and I will not change a single thing in this story of ours.
‘A new chapter begins…’
Solskjaer spoke about Varane’s impending arrival last week and admitted the club had been keeping tabs on the Frenchman for a number of years – with legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson pursuing him when he was a youngster.
‘Of course very happy that we’ve managed to get a deal with Real Madrid,’ Solskjaer said.
‘The medical should hopefully be OK and he’s a proven winner. He’s a player we’ve followed for many, many years.
‘I know Sir Alex (Ferguson) was very, very close to signing him, so this time around we’ve got him at the other end of his career.
RAPHAEL VARANE CAREER STATS
LaLiga: 2011-12, 2016-17, 2019-20
Copa Del Rey: 2013-14
Champions League: 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18
World Cup: 2018
He clocked up 360 appearances for Los Blancos, winning 18 pieces of silverware
‘He’s proved over his whole career what a good person he is first of all, professional and he’s won what there is to win.
‘First of all, the club shows ambition with one of the most exciting young forwards in world football and one of the most respected centre-backs in the world and one of the most winning centre-backs in the world,’ he added.
‘With him in of course we’ve got different ways of playing as well. I can see different ways of playing with Raphael. I can’t wait to get him in. Hopefully we can get that sorted as soon as.’
‘Raphael is into his prime as a centre-back. He’s the same age as Harry (Maguire), a year older than Eric (Bailly) and a couple years older than Victor (Lindelof) so there I’ve got a fantastic group of centre-backs.’
Varane has played 360 times for Real since signing from Lens in 2011 – going on to win 18 pieces of silverware in that time.
He lifted the World Cup with France in 2018 to add to a fabulous collection of winners’ medals across his career.
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