Four potential Varane replacements should the Frenchman choose to leave Madrid, a decision he is considering according to L'Equipe.
Earlier this week L’Equipe reported Raphael Varane is considering leaving Real Madrid. After eight seasons at the Bernabéu, the French defender could be in search of a change of scenery and a new challenge.
If this were to happen, Madrid, who have already signed Porto defender Eder Militao, would be forced to enter the market for a new central defender of reference to replace the French World Cup winner. Here AS looks at four potential replacements that the market would have to offer.
De Ligt (20): Barça the main obstacle
De Ligt has been one of the stand-out players of Ajax’s impressive season, which saw them knock Real Madrid out of the Champions League a few weeks ago to reach their first quarter final since 1995. Standing out alongside him has been Frenkie De Jong, who will be playing at Barcelona next season. De Ligt has also been heavily linked with a move to Camp Nou, but Madrid could enter the bidding for the young defender should Varane’s exit become a reality.
With the money they would earn from Varane’s sale, they could easily pay whatever price Ajax would demand for De Light, who has played 42 games for the Dutch club this season and is their captain at just 20 years of age.
Mathijs de Ligt: “If you want to win the title, then there is no time and space for off-days. European nights are fun and all, but it’s about winning titles. We need to win our next game vs PSV, that’s clear.” [FoxSports] pic.twitter.com/F74hV6k9xE— AFC Ajax 💫 (@TheEuropeanLad) 17 March 2019
Hermoso (23): would only cost 7.5 million euros
Mario Hermoso is a Madrid academy player who had to leave La Fábrica (the Factory) in search of other opportunities. After a loan spell at Real Valladolid, Hermoso captained Real Madrid Castilla in Segunda B before his free transfer to Espanyol, where he has become one of the pillars of Quique Sánchez Flores’s side, as well as a Spain international. Madrid has an advantage that no other club has: the option to buy Hermoso back for just 7.5 million euros. Undoubtedly, he is the best offer on the market.
Koulibaly (27): more than 200 games with Napoli
One of the most committed defenders in Serie A, Koulibaly landed in Italy in 2014 and has become a key figure at Napoli under Carlo Ancelotti. An imposing central defender who is powerful in the air, perhaps his main drawback would be his age, as signing him would go against Madrid's current policy of signing young players (although it seems they will make an exception for Hazard).
Italian daily Corriere dello Sport reported this Thursday that Los Blancos already have their eye on the Senegalese international.
Skriniar (24): his agent confirms Madrid interest
At 24, Milan Skriniar is already a well-rounded central defender who has only missed four games for Inter all season. As reported by AS this Thursday, his agent, Mithat Halis, has confirmed the interest of both Madrid and Barcelona in signing the Slovenian international.
"Real Madrid want to sign him, so do Barcelona; whoever can convince Inter to let him go will sign him this summer,” said Halis of Skriniar, whose impressive form this season in Italy has generated interest amongst Europe’s top clubs.
“Inter paid Sampdoria 28 million euros for Skriniar and six months later, Manchester City came in with an offer of 55 million. Now he is valued at around 100 million,” added Halis. His current value on Transfermarkt.com, however, is 60 million euros – 10 million less than De Ligt and Koulibaly.