Former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho will take over at Manchester United next season and wants to make Raphael Varane his first signing, reports have said.
Many in the UK media, including the Daily Mail, claim the Portuguese boss has told close friends he will be taking charge at Old Trafford at the end of the season. Current manager Louis van Gaal has strenuously denied reports he will leave the 20-time title winners although momentum is gathering pace that both Pep Guardiola and Mourinho will be residing in the same city from next season.
Some reports have suggested that Mourinho’s first job will be to focus on his defence and has identified Varane as the man to lead the back line for the Red Devils.
It was Mourinho who signed the Frenchman from Lens in 2011 and he has always regarded him highly. The pair are believed to enjoy a close relationship – something Mourinho will look to exploit in his attempts to lure Varane away from the Santiago Bernabeu.
The central defender was unknown to be unhappy at his lack of first team opportunities in the past but over the last 18 months has established himself as an important member of the Los Blancos side and there are signs he and Sergio Ramos can be the basis of a strong defence for many years to come.