Manchester United ready to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane

Manchester United are ready to exploit the contract standoff between Raphael Varane and Real Madrid, while Real will have to honour the full amount they owe Gareth Bale for the year left on his contract. Elsewhere, Joan Laporta thinks that Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona if he does not win the presidential elections, and Josh King could stay at Everton.
Manchester United move for Varane

Manchester United are aiming to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid this summer. The 27-year-old French international central defender is out of contract in 18 months, meaning he could leave for nothing. The Telegraph reports that while Sergio Ramos could also leave on a free transfer at the end of this season, Varane is considered the most likely to leave the club.

**: At 27, Varane has probably got around five years left at the top of his game before his body starts to struggle with the demands of professional football. His experience in top-flight football means that United would be unlikely to be the only contenders for his signature, especially if Real are willing to compromise on a fee in the summer.

Laporta: Messi will leave if I don’t win

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has said that he believes that striker Lionel Messi will leave if anyone else but him wins the elections this March, reports Marca. The 33-year-old Argentine can leave for nothing in the summer and Laporta said: "He's not guided just by money. He wants a competitive team to win. "I'm sure he'll listen to my offer, just as I am [sure] that if someone else wins he will leave."

***: The stories around Messi suggest that he is far from certain to leave the club, and given the impact of the coronavirus there are probably only a couple of clubs who would be able to stump up his wages, considering his advanced years. Laporta is doubtless overegging his case but it is an emotive case to make in order to win votes from the electorate.

Bale expects Real to honour deal

Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale is going to drive a hard bargain with his parent club Real Madrid, according to the Mirror. The 31-year-old forward is on £600,000 a week and the sum is split between Spurs and Real while he is on loan in the Premier League. He could though return to Real for the final year of his contract if they do not make sure to compensate him if they want him to move on.

Everton keen to make King switch permanent

Everton are ready to keep Joshua King at Goodison Park despite his limited appearances so far for the club. The Daily Mail suggests that the Bournemouth player will be available for nothing at the end of the season and he is rated at his new club as a player who shares many of the same qualities as first-choice striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The 29-year-old Norwegian has just made five sub appearances in the league so far.

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