Chelsea ready to place £35m bid for United transfer target

Chelsea will be launching a massive £35 million bid for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane within weeks, according to The Metro.

Varane, who has also been on Manchester United‘s radar this season, has attracted interest from Chelsea after another impressive season and Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen to sign his former employee.

The 22-year-old centre-back could be a long-term replacement for club captain John Terry and if Chelsea can secure his services while Terry is still playing he will be taken under the wing of the fan-favourite.

Madrid will not be looking to let Varane go easily but his run in the side could be at an end ahead of next season as Sergio Ramos and Pepe are fully fit. It is reported that they will be looking for £35.8 million for them to allow Varane to depart.

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Ramos has been playing in a holding midfield role for Carlo Ancelotti’s side but he is clearly far better suited to his preferred centre-back role, meaning Varane is unable to nail down a regular starting spot.

Chelsea could have a potential long-term French centre-half partnership if Varane joins. He would link up will compatriot Kurt Zouma, who has impressed since signing for the Blues.

Do Chelsea need Raphael Varane and will he leave Real Madrid this summer?

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Chelsea line up another Atletico raid for £28.5m-rated star

Chelsea are considering a move for Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin if they fail in their chase of Raphael Varane, according to The Mirror.

The highly rated 29-year-old centre-back is contracted until 2018, and despite having a release clause of £28.5 million in his contract, he could be a more achievable target than Varane.

Mourinho has the second best defence in the Premier League but is keen to bolster his options with his captain, John Terry, turning 35 next season.

It is no secret that Mourinho rates Varane very highly, but the Real Madrid defender has featured in the starting lineup more often recently due to injuries to Carlo Ancelotti’s key men, Sergio Ramos and Pepe, and that will give him encouragement to stay and fight for his place.

Godin would be an ideal second choice for Mourinho, as he has had to deal with defending against some of the best players in the world at FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in recent years.

The Uruguayan international is also a real threat in front of goal and scored in Atletico’s Champions League final loss to their bitter rivals, Real last year, and could opt for a change as he is in his fifth year at the club.

A move to Chelsea would see Godin link up with former Atletico teammates Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois, as another raid on the Spanish club looks likely.

Would Diego Godin be a good signing for Chelsea?

Chelsea and United dealt a HUGE blow in chase for €25m-rated Madrid star

Chelsea and Manchester United have been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of €25m-rated Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane after he has insisted that he is happy at Los Blancos, according to Sky Sports.

The French youngster has featured 21 times in La Liga this season and has been heavily linked with moves away from the club with Chelsea and Manchester United both rumoured to be interested, but Varane hasn’t thought about leaving the club.

“I am focused on our season and we are going to give everything to win it all. I am happy here,” Varane said after Madrid’s 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.

Varane played under Jose Mourinho during his time as Real Madrid manager and the current Chelsea boss is a huge fan of the 21-year-old.

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If he is to sign for Chelsea, he will join his French counterpart Kurt Zouma in what could potentially be a long-term, world-class partnership.

But Varane’s comments couldn’t make things clearer on his intentions as he continues to play a huge part in Madrid’s push for silverware.

Transfermarkt.com rate Varane at €25 but it is reported that it would take a much higher offer to tempt Real into selling their young star.

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The main factor which could eventually see Varane leave the Spanish capital is playing time. He has enjoyed long spells in the side this season due to injuries to Madrid’s other top quality defenders in the shape of Sergio Ramos and Pepe who are both set to be offered new contracts this summer.

If Varane sees himself as a bit part player again next season, a move could be on the cards but for now it looks as if he is staying put.

Will Varane leave Real Madrid this summer?

Arsenal legend suggests signing two stars to make club ‘the real deal’

Former Arsenal forward Charlie Nicholas has claimed the Gunners are close to being ‘the real deal’ and believes they are just a couple of quality signings away from being an elite side in the Premier League once more.

Nicholas told Sky Sports his former club can close the gap on the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City next season by signing another central defender and a high-quality holding midfielder.

“I still think they’re two players away from being the real deal but I think Wenger is getting close to identifying who those players are,” Nicholas said.

“It’s the defence and the protection of the defence that need attention, he recognises that now.”

Nicholas was quick to heap praise on Francis Coquelin, who has impressed this season, but highlights depth is key and that Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin is the type of player who could be the right move.

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“Coquelin has done really well but I would like another holding midfield player to come in, perhaps a Schneiderlin type of player.”

Nicholas sees Arsene Wenger’s signing of defender Gabriel as a long-term replacement for Per Mertesacker but he reiterates the point the club needs another centre-back.

“Ideally, if the situation arose, I’d like to go and get Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, that’s who I’d really love Arsenal to get.”

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But Nicholas realises Varane would be a difficult target to land and admits there are plenty of other defenders who can have the same impact Gabriel has made for a more reasonable fee.

“Look at what Gabriel has done since he’s come into the side, he’s looked solid and the team’s record reflects that – and he only cost £11m I think.

“There’s plenty of Gabriel types out there for reasonable fees.”

Arsenal take on Liverpool this weekend and can almost shut the door on the Merseyside clubs’ hope of making the top four with a win in what is a pivotal game.

Would Raphael Varane and Morgan Schneiderlin make Arsenal the real deal?

Chelsea plotting HUGE £165m summer spree for star trio

Chelsea are being linked with three huge moves for Real Madrid duo Raphael Varane and Gareth Bale, as well as Everton’s Ross Barkley as Jose Mourinho looks to further strengthen the Premier League leaders’ squad.

Gareth Bale hasn’t even completed two seasons with Real Madrid but is being linked with a return to the Premier League after coming under fire from Los Blancos supporters. Manchester United and Manchester City have already been rumoured as possible destinations but now Chelsea look like they are planning a mega move.

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A report in the Daily Mail claims that the Blues are prepared to pay Madrid the £75 million buy-out clause required to bring the Welsh star back to England, though the former Spurs hero wants to stay in Spain for one more season.

Madrid would be willing to let Bale leave if the buy-out clause is met as they could then keep Cristiano Ronaldo, and would be able to go on another summer spending spree themselves.

Bale’s Madrid teammate Raphael Varane is also a target for Mourinho and Chelsea are willing to splash £40 million on the young French defender, according to the Sun.

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Mourinho worked with Varane while in Spain and described the 21-year-old centre-back as the best young defender in Europe, and now wants to link up with the Frenchman once again by offering Madrid an offer they would find hard to turn down.

Chelsea are also being linked with Everton and England international Ross Barkley but will face competition from Manchester City for his signature.

Everton are desperate to keep hold of the attacking midfield ace and will demand £50 million if they are to let the 21 year old leave.

Barkley was excellent last season as he burst on to the scene, scoring six goals in 34 appearances for the Toffees, but has come under criticism this year after only netting twice.

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For Chelsea to spend the sort of money being reported, they would need to sell once again but the club have proved to be excellent in the past few transfer windows.

Big names have left for big money in recent seasons and Chelsea have managed to make profit of around £16 million in the past two windows despite spending over over £100 million on new talent such as Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.

Oscar is one name who could be forced out the door and Juventus are believed to be keeping a close eye on the Brazilian playmaker, according to reports out of Italy.

What do you make of the reports? Do Chelsea need to spend £165 million on three players this summer?