Former Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson believes Manchester United have landed the better player in Raphael Varane than his old club have in Ibrahima Konate.
United confirmed on Tuesday evening that they had reached an agreement with Madrid for the French centre-back to make the switch to Old Trafford, subject to him passing a medical.
Should a deal be concluded without any late snags, Varane will become United’s third signing of this summer’s transfer window, following on from the recent arrivals of goalkeeper Tom Heaton and England international Jadon Sancho.
Varane’s impending arrival in the Premier League will mean that he has become the second big-name French centre-back to make a move to England this summer, with Liverpool having snapped up Konate from RB Leipzig earlier in the window.
Whilst there is plenty of potential within Konate’s armoury, especially when he only turned 22-years-old just over two months ago, former Liverpool and England defender Johnson believes United have secured the better player by turning to Varane.
Asked if he thought Varane was a better signing for United than Konate for Liverpool, Johnson told bettingodds.com: “Yes. Mainly because I haven’t seen Konate play too much to be honest and don’t know too much about him.
“But if Konate is as good or better than Varane I’d be surprised.”
Johnson has also admitted that Varane would rank as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League, as well as running the rule over how much quality United now have in their defensive ranks.
“If you ranked Varane in the Premier League he would be one of the best centre-halves for sure,” Johnson continued.
“He’s been at the top for a long time, and he’s still young. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a great defender. He’s not good going forward or great on the ball, but he’s a fantastic defender.
“Luke Shaw, if he keeps fit, is, again, a fantastic player, though I don’t know whether he can do it for the whole season.
“Obviously he had an unbelievable season, and at the Euros he was brilliant, but I’m not sure he could perform like that for the whole season.
“[Harry] Maguire has his ups and downs. But Varane is like a rock, he’s a proper player. He doesn’t really want to play football, he just defends and gives the closest player the ball, which is what I want to see.”
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