Is Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson close to signing Raphael Varane? (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
According to reports, Manchester United may be lining up to sign Raphael Varane from Lens. The 18-year-old Frenchman is one of the more highly rated youngsters in the French game and United scouts have been regulars recently at Stade Felix Bollaert. Speculation is that talks have opened up between the two clubs and that a deal is close to being completed. Varane broke into the first-team at Lens at the ripe age of 17 and in recent months, he has become a regular first-team choice. The U-21 France international has played both as a holding midfielder and as a center-back; acting more as a sweeper in the former role. Varane is 6 foot 3 inches and he has scored headed goals from set-pieces in recent matches.
I haven't personally seen Varane play but the general description of him sounds somewhat comparable to Jack Rodwell, another rumored United target. If Varane comes to Old Trafford over the summer, it appears less likely that the young Everton midfielder would be bought by United. However, due to Varane's lack of experience, it is possible that he could be sent out on loan for a season.