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Man United eyeing one of two French defensive rocks to bolster backline

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Manchester United earmark Raphael Varane or Dayot Upamecano to reinforce defence

According to ESPN, Manchester United are eyeing Raphael Varane and Dayot Upamecano to bolster their flagging defence.

The French duo are the bedrocks in defence for Real Madrid and RB Leipzig respectively. While the former is a well-established player, the latter is a rising star who could be at the top of his game for years to come.

While Harry Maguire has largely improved in recent weeks, the lack of a dependable player alongside him continues to be a worry. Bringing in a suitable partner could go a long way in removing the weakness that plagues our backline.

Manchester United are eyeing Raphael Varane and Dayot Upamecano to bolster their flagging defence.
Manchester United are interested in Raphael Varane and Dayot Upamecano

According to the Daily Star, Varane is entering the final 18 months of his contract. He is also is now represented by Base Soccer Agency, with whom United have a healthy relationship.

United believe they can land the Frenchman on the cheap given there isn’t much time to go on his contract. At 27, Varane is in the prime of his career and any cut-price deal would be an impressive piece of business.

It is not the first time that we have been linked with the defender. Former boss Jose Mourinho was also keen to bring Varane to Old Trafford. (h/t Daily Star)

Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane has 18 months left on his current deal

The alternative!

Meanwhile, Bild journalist Christian Falk (h/t ESPN) believes United could make a move for Upamecano.

The Frenchman has a relatively modest €45m release clause that will come into effect this summer. It would be a deal that is bang for the buck for United, given the French star’s immense potential.

A major issue could prove to be Liverpool’s pursuit of the player. With Jurgen Klopp’s side going through an injury crisis in defence, they could make a play to sign Upamecano.

Dayot Upamecano has been a rock at the back for RB Leipzig
Dayot Upamecano has been a rock at the back for RB Leipzig

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Signing either player would be an upgrade over who we have at the moment. United’s lack of defensive solidity has seen us concede cheap goals at times this season.

Hopefully that will be addressed in the coming January window.