Manchester United monitor Raphaël Varane and hand Juan Mata new deal

Manchester United are monitoring Raphaël Varane with a view to a potential move for the Real Madrid centre-back and have given Juan Mata a new one-year deal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær wants to strengthen his central defensive options but after agreement was reached to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho for £73m, United will only do deals that reflect the economic climate.

Varane has been at Madrid since June 2011, winning three La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues, and was a member of France’s triumphant 2018 World Cup team.

The 28-year-old is in the final year of his contract but Madrid may still value him at about £50m, which United would view as unrealistic as they work to a pandemic-affected financial model.

Mata’s new terms extend his United career into an eighth year after he joined for a then club record £37.1m in January 2014 when David Moyes was the manager.

United have also signed Tom Heaton on a two-year deal, the goalkeeper returning after 11 years. He arrives on a free transfer after leaving Aston Villa.