MANCHESTER UNITED chief Ed Woodward is prepared to make Raphael Varane the most expensive defender in the world as Jose Mourinho is set to miss out on his transfer targets again.
Jose Mourinho made no secret of his request for a new centre-back in the summer but Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Woodward refused to break the bank.
The Portuguese boss was keen to sign the likes of Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld or Leicester’s Harry Maguire, while Bayern Munich’ Jerome Boating was also on his radar.
Mourinho was left disappointed in his pursuit and as a result they have struggled defensively, keeping just two clean sheets in 13 Premier League games.
However, according to the London Evening Standard, Woodward would be willing to fix the problem by signing his long-term target Varane.
The Real Madrid star would cost in excess of Liverpool’s world record £75m fee they paid for Virgil van Dijk, and Woodward knows he would have a large sell on fee in years to come.
Mourinho is a fan of Varane having worked with him at Madrid, but he is looking for a short term fix for now and wants a player with Premier League experience.
But the report claims the United board are set to veto Mourinho’s requests once again that will leave the 55-year-old further frustrated.
Any January deal for Varane would be highly unlikely with Madrid not in a position to sell one of their prized assets and Woodward knows the biggest challenge is to convince Los Blancos into discussions.
Varane is under contract with the European champions until 2022.
Despite Woodward’s dreams of landing the talented Frenchman, the club have been spending time drawing up a list of more realistic targets.
Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar is said to be an option Woodward would be more open to signing with the 23-year-old still yet to reach his peak.
Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly and Brazilian starlet Eder Militao have also been linked with a switch to Old Trafford.
But even if Woodward can’t land Varane or Skriniar it seems he is still reluctant to meet Mourinho’s request for Alderweireld in January.
Alderweireld remains under contract with Spurs until the summer where United would be able to snap him up on a free transfer.