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Chelsea ‘move closer’ to Raphael Varane transfer in blow to Man Utd as Tuchel ‘asks for Real Madrid defender’

MANCHESTER UNITED are set to face off with Chelsea in the race for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, according to reports.

The Frenchman, 27, could ask to leave the Bernabeu this summer ahead of his contract expiring in 2022.

Real would not want to lose their man on a free in a year's time and are said to favour cashing in if he won't sign a new contract.

That has opened the door for Chelsea and United in their quest to bolster their defence.

It had previously been suggested in the Spanish media that Varane was edging towards Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is thought to have made a new partner for Harry Maguire his transfer priority.

But now Chelsea have emerged as serious contenders, according to German publication Bild, due to Thomas Tuchel's interest in the player.

The Blues have enjoyed an excellent defensive record since the coach took charge, keeping 15 clean sheets in the past three months.

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Yet he is expected to try to improve the backline nevertheless with Fikayo Tomori potentially making his move to AC Milan permanent and Thiago Silva maybe only having one more season in him.

Madrid could demand as much as £86million for Varane after a decade of starring for the team.

Although absent for the weekend draw with Getafe due to coronavirus, he has been a key part of Zinedine Zidane's team this season.

And a new contract is not off the table even though Varane reportedly wants a new challenge.

Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

Real Madrid star Raphael Varane is in great shape on the training ground

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