Solskjaer breaks silence on Raphael Varane transfer & reveals player that will leave

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has provided his first response to the announcement that Raphael Varane is set to join Manchester United, saying the player is one of the most ‘winning’ centre-backs in the world.

United announced on Tuesday that a deal has been agreed with Real Madrid for the France international, with just a medical to be completed.

The deal is believed to be worth an initial £34m, with add-ons taking it to around £42m, with the defender signing a contract for four years and the club have an option to extend it by a further one year.

The Red devils drew 2-2 with Brentford in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday and Solskjaer was asked about the imminent arrivals of Varane and the secured signing of Jadon Sancho, both of which he is thrilled about.

‘Of course, very happy that we’ve managed to get a deal with Real Madrid,’ Solskjaer said of Varane’s move. ‘Medical should hopefully be okay, he’s a proven winner, he’s a player we’ve followed for many, many years.

‘Sir Alex [Ferguson] was very close to signing him. This time around, we’ve got him at the other end of his career. He’s proved over his old career, what a good person he is, professional and he’s won what there is to win.

‘I’m very happy getting both our players in. The club shows ambition with one of the most exciting young forwards in world football and one of the most respected centre-backs in the world and one of the most winning centre-backs in the world.’

Reports have already emerged that Solskjaer wants to switch to a formation with three central defenders when Varane arrives, and the Norwegian coach has now hinted that could be the case.

The United head coach now just wants to get the final details done and to start work with the player as soon as possible.

‘With him in, we’ve got different ways of playing as well,’ said Solskjaer. ‘I can see different ways of playing with Raphael, I can’t wait to get him in, hopefully we can get him in as soon as.

‘From what I know, the club is working on the quickest possible solution to get everything sorted [for the medical]. I don’t know the timescale yet, there’s a visa coming into England now with Brexit and quarantining, everything has to be done as quickly as possible and by the book.

‘As I’ve said before, every manager would be happy the sooner and the earlier the deals are done. This year we’ve managed to get it sorted, the two we’ve got in will make a huge difference for us, both this season, short-term, but also long-term.’

Solskjaer also expects Axel Tuanzebe to leave the club on loan. He said: ‘With Raphael looking like everything is sorted there, I can see Axel going out because I’ve got Raphael Varane, [Harry] Maguire, [Victor] Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

‘With Jadon, with the young forwards we’ve got, it’s exciting. As a manager, you can’t ask for more backing when you’ve got these two in as early as we have.

‘We’ve scrambled before towards end of the window and we’re in a good position. Pre-season is always difficult in a championship year, never mind in a pandemic, with quarantine and isolation.’

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