Real Madrid open to offers for Raphaël Varane
Real Madrid will listen to any offers they receive for the French centre-back, who has been dragging his heels over a new contract.
Raphaël Varane put in an almost fautless performance at the back for Real Madrid in Bergamo: 84 passes, 78 (93%) of them found a team mate, he won six of the 10 challenges for the ball he was involved in; made four clearances, seven balls lost and 12 recovered (the most out of the whole Madrid team) and not one single foul committed. Excellent figures to crown his 350th appearance for Real Madrid. The French centre-back is now in his tenth season at the club (he joined in the summer of 2011), during which time he has won 18 trophies (among them, four Champions Leagues, three LaLiga titles, one Copa del Rey, four Club World Cups...). Varane is in the peak of his career. While once he struggled with injuries, now he hardly ever in the casualty room. However, his future at Real Madrid is more uncertain than ever.
Varane's contract will expire in June 2022 and talks to agree a new deal have stagnated. The central defender was deliberating whether to leave at the start of 2019 but Zidane's return convinced him to stay. At the time, Madrid put out a firm message to the market: "Varane is worth 500 million" - in other words, his buy-out clause. But now the club's stance is very different.
Madrid are conscious that Varane will enter the final year of his contract in June; so this summer will be the last opportunity to get a transfer fee for the player, if he is unwilling to negotiate an extension. If the situation remains the same in June, Madrid will listen to offers for Varane, knowing that the player is one of the few in the current squad who could command a high transfer fee.
Varane worth 70 million euros
Varane will turn 28 in April, which puts him in his prime. He is no longer a player who struggled to play two games per week; with a lack of affordable top level central defender currently on the market (Sevilla, for example, wanted 90 million for Koundé - his buy-out), a defender like Varane could fetch a decent price (Transfermarkt value him at 70 million euros).
Madrid had hoped that Varane would inherit the role of the team's boss in defence from Sergio Ramos, who could be leaving the club this summer. But if no agreement is reached by the summer, Madrid would consider Varane's time at the club as at an end - with the idea that an arrangement could be made for him to move on which would suit both parties. Varane signed for Madrid aged 18 in 2011, joining from Lens for 10 million euros on Zidane's recommendation. His role within the team has steadily grown over the years and under a succession of coaches - Mourinho, Ancelotti, Benítez, Zidane, Lopetegui, Solari and in Zizou's second stint. This season, he is the second most used player, only Thibaut Courtois has played more minutes; last season he racked up just under 4,000 minutes of playing time, the same as in 2018-19.
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