Marcus Rashford gives Man Utd food for thought with comment on transfer target Raphael Varane

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Marcus Rashford has added further fuel to the rumours that the Red Devils are lining up a deal for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane after the striker cited the Frenchman as his toughest opponent.

The United star is currently gearing up to try and win the Euros with England, securing the nations first major honour since 1966.

Should England win the tournament, it is likely they will have to cross paths with France and Varane at some point, who are looking to build on their World Cup win of 2018 and put the demons of their last European Championships to bed.

Varane was not part of the matchday squad that were beaten 1-0 but Portugal in the final of the 2016 tournament in Paris, but will be desperate to go that one step further this time around.

Marcus Rashford named Raphael Varane when discussing the toughest defenders he has faced
(Image: BT Sport)

The two nations could meet at Wembley if Gareth Southgate's England win Group D and Didier Deschamps's France side finish as runners-up in Group F, which could see Rashford try and get the better of a potential future teammate in Varane.

During a recent Q&A with fans, Rashford was posed the difficult question over who the toughest defender he had come up against at both Premier League and international level by a supporter named Daniel M.

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Rashford named a number of European football's most elite centre-backs, including Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and yet another Real Madrid star in the form of Sergio Ramos.

The Old Trafford star said: “That is a tough question, Daniel.

“I think an individual is different to a unit. Some teams defend really well as units and it’s teams like Burnley, for example, who do everything as a four.

“So if one pushes up, they all push up. If one drops, they all drop. It can be, at times, difficult to find space.

Varane clearly left an impression when he faced Rashford

“But then there are some top individual defenders – Van Dijk, Ramos.

“I thought, when we played against Real Madrid in a friendly, that Varane played and he was quite tough. So there are a few people.”

United have been linked with a number of central defenders in the recent window as they search for a long-term partner for Harry Maguire, with Villarreal stalwart Pau Torres seemingly the most likely given his release clause sitting at around £43m.

Though Varane will undoubtedly be more expensive given the stature of the player, with very few stars in European football boasting a more impressive honours list, he may be worth every penny if Rashford's comments are anything to go by.

His assessment – placing the Frenchman amongst the very best in world football – will give United's hierarchy food for thought as they look to invest and take the next step under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer next season.

Which centre-back should United sign in the summer? Have your say in the comments below.

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