Spanish newspaper Marca has offered Chelsea some encouragement over their reported pursuit of French defender Raphael Varane.
Varane has been linked with the Blues as a potential replacement for club legend John Terry and he’s a player widely admired by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who once described him as the best young defender in the world.
Chelsea appear to have fresh hope of getting him with a claim from Marca that Varane is only considered a ‘super sub’ at the Bernabeu.
“He is back in the thick of battle after the problems he had following his knee operation,” reports Marca.
“For quite some time now, Varane has wanted to be something more than a luxury substitute for Sergio Ramos and Pepe. To Ancelotti, Varane is a super sub, but still just a sub. Varane is crying out to be first choice the way he's been playing, but it still escapes him.”
Marca’s report suggests that Varane wants a status at Real Madrid, which Ancelotti is unable to give him because of the other players in his position.
However, that desire also creates problems with a potential move to Chelsea because of the man he’s been tipped to replace.
Gary Cahill and John Terry were the best centre back pairing in the Premier League last season and they have been solid since the start of this campaign in all competitions.
There’s no sign of Terry retiring just yet, which means any winter move for Varane from Chelsea would see him come into the club initially behind that pair.
Throw into the mix the presence of Kurt Zouma, also tipped as a replacement for John Terry, and it could be difficult for Varane to enjoy more football at Stamford Bridge over the rest of the campaign than he’d get at the Bernabeu.
What makes Marca’s claim all the more remarkable is the fact that Varane has started four games across La Liga and the Champions League this season.
If Ancelotti really does hold the above belief about Varane then he can’t be blamed for trying to find himself a new club.