Raphael Varane is a ‘top, top signing’ for Manchester United, according to Patrice Evra, who says the Real Madrid defender reminds him of his old team-mate Rio Ferdinand.
United are set to announce the £42million deal for Varane, with the Frenchman on the verge of becoming Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s third arrival of a busy summer transfer window for the club after Jadon Sancho was signed for £73million earlier this month
Former left-back Evra, who played 273 times for the club, has also been a long-time admirer of his 28-year-old compatriot.
And he is in no doubt Varane bears similarities to Red Devils legend Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles and the Champions League at Old Trafford between 2002 and 2014.
Evra played alongside Ferdinand in defence for eight years, between 2006 and 2014
Evra says Varane reminds him of Rio Ferdinand because of his speed and anticipation
The former United left-back told The Athletic: ‘Varane reminds me of Rio Ferdinand. Great with the ball, great in the air. He’s the complete centre-back.’
‘I remember my first game with the French national team and I was so impressed. He was so young yet so good with the ball, so fast and his anticipation was perfect.’
‘He’s calm with the ball and he can score too. It’s a top, top signing for Manchester United.’
Varane will bring ten years of experience at the highest level to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad, having played for Real Madrid since 2011.
Varane is the ideal partner to complement Maguire in defence, according to Evra
Evra believes the Varane-Maguire partnership could bring silverware back to Old Trafford
The former Lens defender made 360 appearances for Real, winning three La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and the Copa del Rey, as well as the World Cup with France in 2018.
He also won the 2018 World Cup winner with France, and has 79 caps to his name with Les Bleus. The towering centre-half’s most recent outing came in France’s round of 16 exit to Switzerland in Euro 2020.
By contrast, United’s search for silverware is entering its fourth season after the Red Devils lost to Villarreal in the Europe League final this year.
Evra said Varane impressed him when both played together for the first time for France
United fans will hope that a Maguire-Varane partnership will be just as good as the one formed by Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand
Fans have desperate for a long-term partner for record signing Harry Maguire at the heart of United’s defence and Varane’s imminent signing should signal an end to their hunt.
United have capitalised on Madrid’s need to raise funds this summer as they aim to build towards a Kylian Mbappe bid next year.
With Jadon Sancho having also been snapped up from Borussia Dortmund for £73m, the Red Devils will now be expected to launch a genuine title challenge and compete in the latter stages of the Champions League under a manager who has just been handed a three-year contract.