Wes Brown claims Raphael Varane is dream defender for United

Player keen on move as Man Utd look to strike deal to sign 27-year-old star

Player keen on move as Man Utd look to strike deal to sign 27-year-old star

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to become the Red Devils next permanent managerWhat's the news?

Manchester United need to get this next central defensive purchase right and while the signs are good for Koulibaly, Varane's consistency over a number of years would make him the optimum target.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has improved United's defence since taking charge at Old Trafford but the club remain determined to sign a centre-back and have been encouraged by Koulibaly's openness to joining.

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The 20-time English champions have conceded 35 times in 25 games in the Premier League this season, which is 20 more than leaders Liverpool FC. They tried to sign a defender last summer but failed to reach an agreement with any of their top targets.

United were willing to spend close to £100m on Real Madrid ace Raphael Varane last summer but the Frenchman was unwilling to leave the Bernabeu.

The Sun, meanwhile, claims that Koulibaly is one of five names on a shortlist of defenders who United will consider if Varane turns them down. Woodward sees Varane as the ideal candidate to play next to Victor Lindelof: a Champions League and World Cup winner, seasoned by Real's insatiable mentality since 2011, marvelously accomplished with the ball, tough and smart when dealing with attackers. "Lindelof has started to understand what it takes in English football, ' said Brown". "Solksjaer will try to find out who is the best partnership and the defenders will all be fighting for places, which is good for the team.' Solskjaer's men are now fifth in the Premier League, just two points behind Chelsea in the race for the final Champions League spot but travel to Craven Cottage to battle Fulham before taking on Paris Saint Germain in the last-16 of the Champions League first-leg at Old Trafford".

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