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Manchester United would have six centre-backs on the books if Raphael Varane is signed in the summer.
Currently with France at the Euros, the Real Madrid star has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford this transfer window.
The Red Devils have ramped up their efforts to sign the defender as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes the position a priority.
Bringing Varane in would be a huge boost as they eye other deals for the likes of Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish.
But where would the Frenchman rank among the current crop at United? And how do the others compare?
1. Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane is out of contract at Real Madrid in the summer of 2022
(Image: Getty Images)
If United land the Real Madrid defender, Varane would instantly become their best option at the back.
It has not been the best of seasons for the Frenchman at the Bernabeu, where they have gone trophy-less, but Varane has been operating in the upper echelons of the sport for a number of years now.
As well as winning several Champions League medals, the centre-back has been one of the first names on the team sheet for Didier Deschamps for France – where he won the World Cup in 2018.
That experience would be absolutely beneficial to Solskjaer, who is desperate to bring in players who know what it takes to win trophies.
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2. Harry Maguire
Next to Varane at the back will most certainly be Maguire, who as United’s captain is guaranteed a spot in the side.
Many eyebrows were raised when the Red Devils forked out £80m for his services back in 2018.
But it cannot be denied that Maguire has been instrumental to Solskjaer’s plans, fixing his leaky defence.
Harry Maguire is United's captain
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)
The Norweigan’s demands to bring in another centre-back are less to do with the ex-Leicester man and more so his defensive partners.
Regardless, there are some deficiencies to Maguire’s games – his lack of pace and occasionally lapse in concentration have hurt United in the past – but with Varane next to him, those errors would likely be ironed out.
3. Victor Lindelof
The arrival of Varane would almost certainly see Lindelof lose his first-team spot in the United side.
The Sweden international has been viewed as the weaker half of the current set-up at Old Trafford, though that is not to say he has not been largely a success.
Lindelof played 45 games for United last season despite a worry over a back problem, which has forced the defender to play through the pain barrier.
There is no doubting the former Benfica star’s commitment to the cause but Solskjaer wants a more reliable partner to Maguire, which leaves Lindelof on the sidelines.
4. Eric Bailly
Eric Bailly could leave United this summer
Despite signing a new contract, Bailly’s first-team appearances will almost definitely shrivel up even more than they already have.
Injuries have plagued the Ivorian’s career at Old Trafford, he played just 12 Premier League matches last season.
What the future holds for Bailly remains to be seen, though he has previously stated that he would not stay at United for the sake of it.
With another defender to compete with, the ex-Villarreal star could end up departing in search of a more important position elsewhere.
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5. Axel Tuanzebe
Once regarded as a huge up and coming talent through the club’s academy, Tuanzebe turns 24 this November.
His lack of chances in the current set-up has already left him frustrated and the further arrival of Varane is unlikely to appease him,
It has already been reported that the DR Congo international is looking to leave, whether that be on loan or on a permanent basis.
But with his early promise failing to earn him a spot in Solskjaer’s side, departing for good could be the best option for Tuanzebe.
6. Phil Jones
Phil Jones has had a tough few years at United
(Image: Action Images via Reuters)
Somehow, Jones remains a United player despite being ostracised for nearly three years now.
The Englishman is contacted to the club until 2023 after inexplicably being handed a £100,000-a-week deal in 2018 despite clearly being on the wane.
The 29-year-old has been another player ravaged by injuries but his United career has been over for some time now.
Solskjaer has previously stated that he has felt sympathy for Jones, but it is up to the ex-Blackburn star to get his career back on track by potentially taking a big wage cut to join a lower-level club.