After some days of speculation, Real Madrid have made their fourth signing of the summer in the form of 18 year old Raphael Varane from Lens. He plays as a central defender and can also play as a defensive midfielder. He has signed a six year contract (until 2017) and the transfer value is believed to be €10 million.
Varane is known for his good first touch and has a strong physical presence with his 1.91m stature. He, however, comes in to fill a spot which is already overbooked. Carvalho and Pepe are the permanent spot holders in that position with Albiol being a substitute. Sergio Ramos also comes into the central defense role in certain games and Garay is the least preferred for this position and he could see out in the summer as well.
Varane comes in to the squad after he was referred to Jose Mourinho and the board by Zinedine Zidane. Zizou saw the player play in France and then held talks with Lens president. This resulted in Varane flying in to Valdebebas in the previous week. Lens and Varane picked Real Madrid over Manchester United, who were also interested in the player.
He is believed to earn €1m in salaries in the first year with an increase of €200,000 per year from then onwards. A huge jump from the €12,000 he used to make at Lens. Upon arrival in Madrid he said “Estoy muy feliz” / “I am very happy”.
What’s staggering is that Real Madrid have spent a whooping €145.4 million on central defenders in the past eight years. After Fernando Hierro’s contract wasn’t renewed in 2003, Real Madrid have added ten players to the position. There have been investments to get Walter Samuel (€25 million), Jonathan Woodgate (€13.4 million), Sergio Ramos (€27 million), Fabio Cannavaro (€7 million), Christoph Metzelder (free transfer), Pepe (€30 million), Ezequiel Garay (€10 million), Raul Albiol (€15 million), Ricardo Carvalho (€8 million) and Raphael Varane (€10 million).
Question now remains, will Varane get any playing time for the team as he could at best be the fourth option for Jose Mourinho. What do you guys think?