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Manchester United have confirmed on their official website that they have agreed in principle a deal to sign Real Madrid and France centre-back Raphael Varane.

A fee was not mentioned, but it is believed to be in the region of around Β£41m, plus add-ons.

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We have agreed a deal in principle for the transfer of @RaphaelVarane to United! πŸ”΄βšͺ️⚫️#MUFC

β€” Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 27, 2021

If the Red Devils do get the deal over the line, it will be something of a coup for last season’s Premier League runners-up. In Varane they are signing one of, if not the best central defender in the world game. At 28, he is in the prime of his career for a player in his position. The fee for such a quality player has to be considered a bargain.

Varane will bring so much to the United team. Not only is he a very good defender, he can play out from the back and he is also quick. Then there are intangible qualities like his winning mentality and experience.

The centre-back has won virtually every trophy in his trophy-laden career, including winning La Liga three times, the Champions League on four occasions and maybe most impressively the World Cup with France in 2018.

That sort of experience is hard to find in a player who is still in their prime.

Manchester United were not a disaster in defence last season, as they had the fourth-best backline in the top-flight.

However, they conceded 12 more goals than champions and city rivals Manchester City. The signing of Varane will surely only improve the Red Devils defensive stats next season.

With few teams making big moves in the Premier League so far this summer, Manchester United look to be making real progress in building a strong team.

First the signing of exciting England international Jadon Sancho and then likely Varane, the Red Devils certainly seem to be moving in the right direction in building a team that can challenge those noisy neighbours, Manchester City in the new season.