Man Utd’s surprising transfer decision as Raphael Varane prepares for Southampton debut | Football | Sport


Manchester United reportedly put Victor Lindelof up for sale earlier in the summer. That may have been because of the arrival of Raphael Varane, but is still surprising news nonetheless. The Sweden international has been a popular pick under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and letting him go would have left the Red Devils short at the back.

Manchester United are expected to hand Varane his debut against Southampton on Sunday.

The France international was unveiled as their newest signing before the recent 5-1 hammering of Leeds, with the player paraded in front of a raucous Old Trafford crowd.

When Varane is fully fit, he’s primed to partner Harry Maguire at the back – with the England star undroppable in Solskjaer’s eyes.

And that means Lindelof will have to settle for more time on the bench than he’s grown accustomed to over the past few years.

According to 90min, United actually put the Sweden international up for sale.

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Axel Tuanzebe has been loaned to Aston Villa, while Teden Mengi is expected to follow amid interest from Wayne Rooney’s Derby County.

United can’t rely on Bailly too much, with injuries hampering the Ivory Coast international throughout his time at the club.

And, had they allowed Lindelof to go, it would have meant they’re just one crock away from a crisis.

As it stands, he won’t be going anywhere.

And while Varane is hoping to start against Southampton, it’s far likelier he’ll come off the bench instead of beginning the match on the pitch.

Instead, it will be Lindelof that Solskjaer calls upon to start the contest.

And, given how sublime he was during the recent battering of Leeds, it gives the player a platform to show he won’t give up his place without a fight.

Speaking about Varane on Friday, meanwhile, Solskjaer waxed lyrical over the former Real Madrid star.

“I think if you follow football in the last 10 years… that’s the reason we want to sign him, what he’s done over his career,” Solskjaer said.

“It’s no secret that we were close – or we were in there – when he left to Real Madrid 10 years ago. Sir Alex was in there speaking to them and we were close.

“Ever since his performances on the pitch, his demeanour and behaviour off the pitch, it tells me that that’s a Man United player.

“And we managed to convince him to have the feeling of Man United.

“I think that’s been in his heart ever since he went to Real Madrid as well. I think he had a little bit of a feeling for Man United. And we definitely have had feelings for him for many, many years.

“The Champions League wins he’s had, the World Cup wins… everything about him is class.”

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