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Raphael Varane: Man Utd close to finalising move for Real Madrid defender

Raphael Varane close to joining Manchester United after an agreement was reached with Real Madrid over his transfer last month; the defender is in Manchester and will undergo a medical ahead of the expected completion of his move to Old Trafford next week

Raphael Varane
Image: Raphael Varane's move to Manchester United has been delayed by a few days, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Raphael Varane's visa has been processed and he has travelled to Manchester ahead of finalising his move to Manchester United from Real Madrid.

After securing the services of forward Jadon Sancho, who joined earlier this summer for £73m from Borussia Dortmund, United confirmed last month they had reached an agreement to sign Varane for a fee believed to be in the region of £41m including add-ons.

The 28-year-old will self-isolate before undergoing his medical and the deal is likely to be completed by the middle of next week.

Speaking earlier on Friday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that complications due to quarantine rules and paperwork issues caused by Brexit have stalled his arrival at Old Trafford.

"[It's] Paperwork now, you know, with Brexit and all that," the United manager said.

"I was going to say malarkey but I don't want to go into politics! It's cost us a few days, with the visa, but he's been looking after himself.

"Of course, we've got his medical first and hopefully that's going to be done soon."

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United have a final pre-season friendly against Everton on Saturday before their 2021/22 Premier League campaign gets underway against Leeds United on August 14.

Solskjaer is doubtful that Sancho and Varane will feature this weekend but remains positive about the prospect of the pair playing in United's first competitive game of the season.

"They still haven't trained with us, and I need to see how they are," Solskjaer told ESPN.

France's Raphael Varane challenges Germany's Kai Havertz
Image: Varane (L) featured for France at the Euros earlier this summer

"I can't see them being available for Everton, but hopefully they will be ready to be on the bench [against Leeds]."

Varane enjoyed an extended break following his involvement in the Euro 2020 tournament with France and he is set to depart Real Madrid after a decade at the Bernabeu.

During that time he has made 350 appearances for the Spanish giants and won 18 major trophies.

Regarding the prospect of more transfer activity this summer, Solskjaer has said that "anything can happen" following United's swift moves for Sancho and Varane.

Midfielder Paul Pogba, who has been linked with a move away, can see his long-term future at Old Trafford but may not commit to a contract extension in this transfer window.

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