Man Utd shirt numbers Raphael Varane could wear with ‘deal to be completed next week’ | Football | Sport

Manchester United appear to be closing in on the signing of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane ahead of next season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be in the market for additional reinforcements at the back, with a move for a new central defender emerging as the club’s main priority after the capture of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho earlier this month.

The United boss has reportedly identified Varane as the perfect candidate to partner Harry Maguire next season, with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly failing to impress at times during the previous campaign.

The Frenchman is yet to agree a new deal with his current employers and looks set to find a new challenge over the summer, with Real seeking to avoid the possibility of losing him on a free transfer in a year’s time.

Talks between United and the Spanish giants have been progressing quickly as of late, with French outlet Le Parisien reporting that a £39million deal to see Varane join the Red Devils could be rubber-stamped by next week.

The defender has been on United’s radar for a number of years and his arrival would represent another significant coup for Solskjaer, who recently signed a new three-year deal to keep him at Old Trafford until the summer of 2024.

Express Sport takes a look at the shirt numbers that Varane could wear at United next season if his proposed move goes through without a hitch.

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Number 4

Varane regularly wears No 4 while on international duty with France and could be inclined to ask for the iconic digit upon joining United.

However, the shirt is currently occupied by Phil Jones, who has been sidelined with an injury for more than a year.

The 29-year-old failed to make a single appearance for the Red Devils last season and has been linked with a potential move to Newcastle United for some time.

If Jones is prepared to give up his number ahead of the new campaign, it seems likely that Varane would be its recipient.


Number 12

Chris Smalling was the last player to wear No 12 at United before his £13.6m move to Roma last summer.

Varane may decide to sport the shirt next season based on its similarity to the No 2 that was previously occupied by the World Cup winner at Real Madrid.

He has opted for No 5 since 2016, but Maguire is the current holder at Old Trafford, meaning that Varane will need to find another number to begin his career with the Red Devils.

More than a few United legends have worn the shirt in previous years and the Frenchman could be hoping to follow in their footsteps by excelling with the No 12 across his back.

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Number 24

The No 24 shirt could also be picked up by Varane after it was vacated by the departure of Timothy Fosu-Mensah in January.

Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Wes Brown and Darren Fletcher have all played with the number and it remains to be seen whether the Real man will become its new owner upon completing his move to Old Trafford.

Both digits have already been associated with Varane and he may decide to combine them by selecting No 24.

Alternatively, he could go for No 16, No 22 or No 32, while the vast majority of numbers above 40 are not currently assigned to any United player.

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