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Old Trafford outcast Donny van de Beek could have a pivotal role in Manchester United’s bid to land Raphael Varane, writes PHIL THOMAS.

United have held initial talks with Real Madrid about signing the French centre-back, who would cost around £50million.

But Real are also keen on taking Van de Beek, 24, to the Bernabeu on a year-long loan, with a commitment to buy 12 months down the line.

And United believe that gives them a key bargaining tool in their pursuit of Varane, who tops their list of centre-back targets.

Varane, 28, has one more season left on his deal and can sign a pre-contract agreement in January.

As much as the Spanish giants would love to keep him, they also do not  want to lose him on a free — especially as they are in such a cash-strapped state at the moment. 

So United are more likely to play ball over Van de Beek, if it gives them a little wriggle room in signing Varane, who is also on Paris Saint-Germain’s radar.





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