Raphael Varane to Chelsea FC Rumour Heats Up Following Pepe Extension


Promising centre-back Raphael Varane is finding playing time difficult to come by at Real Madrid, as he is currently third in the depth chart behind Sergio Ramos and Pepe. Now with Pepe set to get a long-term extension, rumours of his exit have started to pick up once again.

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The Mirror has reported that one of his potential destinations is Chelsea FC, with both parties interested in the young talent.

"Centre half Pepe, 32, has been offered a deal until 2017, he wants an extra 12 months but it now seems certain that he will stay in Madrid despite attracting interest from both Manchester clubs in the past.But that may only increase the likelihood of French centre-half Varane—who is Jose Mourinho’s number one defensive target—of becoming more frustrated as he battles with Pepe and Sergio Ramos for places.Chelsea want a long term successor for John Terry even though their captain is set to be given a new 12-month extension.Mourinho also has Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma but wants another top signing as his summer priority this year."

Real appear set on letting him go, but at a steep price of £40 million. Such a deal would be worthwhile for both teams, with Chelsea getting their hands on potentially one of the best centre-backs in Europe while Real Madrid will cash in big on someone who is unsettled.

Varane would also be reunited with his countryman and fellow centre-back prospect Kurt Zouma. If the two get playing time together for club and country, that pairing will be one of the toughest to score on at Euro 2016. Mourinho has tipped Kurt Zouma to succeed Terry as the captain of the club in the near future, meaning his playing time is virtually guaranteed for next season.

Injuries have stunted Raphael Varane’s development in the past, but Mourinho is familiar with him having managed him at Real Madrid. Gary Cahill, who is turning 30 soon, would provide cover for Varane if he gets hurt and create a natural competition between the three centre-backs.

Jose should have no problem rotating his squad for different competitions (e.g. Cahill can play Premier League games, Varane can play Champions League, or one of three could play in midfield).

The club has also agreed to terms with Romanian right-back Cristian Manea, according to the Daily Mail, who is set to turn 18. They will have to wait until the summer transfer window to get the deal done, but Chelsea has acted ahead of teams like Arsenal to swoop up the youngster.

As seen below, Manea has the skill to develop into an elite talent.

With so much talent out on loan, Chelsea always has the option of letting them come into the first team to replace long-serving members (e.g. Thibaut Courtois) or cashing in on their services and getting a large profit (e.g. Kevin de Bruyne). With the club’s propensity for digging out young talent and getting a hold of them before anyone else does, Chelsea FC have put themselves in a position to not only succeed but remain among Europe’s elite clubs for many years to come.

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