Spanish newspaper Marca has reported that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is determined to land Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.
Mourinho has been highly complimentary of the Frenchman in the past, calling him the best young defender in the world when the pair worked together at the Spanish giants last season.
Marca claims Varane is on a shortlist of targets Mourinho has drawn up for Chelsea and even suggests that the Blues boss has already asked the club to try and sign the centre-back for next season.
“Jose Mourinho has his beady eye on Raphaël Varane. The Chelsea manager has already started to draw up his lists for the next season and has asked the directors of the London club to sign the Real Madrid centre-back,” reports Marca.
Whether Varane is the sort of player the Blues need this summer is debatable.
Mourinho has plenty of defensive reserves with Tomas Kalas emerging as a real talent this season and Kurt Zouma likely to play at the club next year after he was loaned back to Saint-Etienne after the £12 million deal last summer.
Chelsea could realistically go after Varane because they have a good pool of resources and if they had the opportunity to get him, they’d be naïve to ignore it.
He’d inject some real talent into the back four and would substantially increase the competition for places in the heart of the back four.
He’d offer height and inject some pace into the Chelsea defence, which has been lacking at times this season.
The problem is that former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has shown no signs that he wants to get rid of Varane, with the only reason for a reduced number of appearances this season a bad knee injury.
Marca suggests that Mourinho is likely to have made up his mind to sign Varane wherever he went after Real Madrid, due to his performance in the Copa Del Rey against Barcelona last season.
Is he a player Chelsea need? No. Is he a player Chelsea should pass up the chance to sign? Definitely not.