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big spenders Paul Pogba future key to United spending after €50m Raphael Varane deal

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Raphael Varane celebrates after France scored against Croatia at the recent European Championship finals. Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Raphael Varane celebrates after France scored against Croatia at the recent European Championship finals. Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Raphael Varane celebrates after France scored against Croatia at the recent European Championship finals. Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hopes of making further additions to his squad are likely to hinge on the futures of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard with Manchester United targeting an overall net spend of between £75-£100  million this summer.

United confirmed last night that they had reached an agreement in principle with Real Madrid for France defender Raphael Varane, who will cost up to £42.7 m (€50m), four days after announcing the £72.9 million signing of England winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

Including the solidarity payments owed to Watford and Manchester City for Sancho, that deal will cost United £76.55 million.

It means United have committed to paying almost £120 million in the transfer market this summer, which means the club will need to make at least one notable sale if Solskjaer is to add a midfielder and/or the Atletico Madrid and England right-back Kieran Trippier to his squad before the close of the transfer window on August 31.

Pogba (28) has yet to offer United any encouragement that he will sign a new deal and is the player most likely to command a substantial fee. Paris Saint-Germain are considering an approach for the France midfielder, who has entered the final 12 months of his contract and could fetch up to €50 million.

Another 28-year-old, Lingard, is also in the last year of his contract and West Ham would like to sign the England forward after he impressed on loan at the London Stadium during the second half of last season. He is valued at up to £30 million. Various clubs in England and overseas are monitoring his situation.

Eric Bailly is expected to seek clarification over his future following Varane’s arrival amid concerns about being fourth choice in the centre-half pecking order behind the Frenchman, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

Injuries and a lack of opportunities have limited Bailly’s playing time since his £30 million move from Villarreal in 2016, who signed a new three-year contract with United in April.

It also remains to be seen what happens with goalkeepers Dean Henderson and David De Gea, neither of whom is likely to settle for being an understudy, and there is some uncertainty over the futures of Phil Jones and Nemanja Matic.

Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams, Diogo Dalot, Andreas Pereira and Facundo Pellestri are among those who could exit for loan fees or even permanently.

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]


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