OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER says Raphael Varane will bring a winning mentality to Old Trafford – as Manchester United’s 10 year pursuit finally paid off.
The Red Devils boss confirmed Alex Ferguson had tried to sign the French centre-back when he was in charge back in 2011.
Yet a decade later Varane arrives for an initial £34.2million – which could rise to £43million – and Solskjaer believes his experience will prove to be crucial.
Varane, 28, won four Champions Leagues with Real Madrid as well as the 2018 World Cup with France.
But United boss Solskjaer said: “Of course, I’m very happy that we’ve managed to get a deal with Real Madrid – he’s a proven winner and a player we have followed for many years.
“I know Sir Alex came close to signing him so this time we’ve got him at the other end of his career.
“He’s proved over his whole career what a good person and professional he is – and he’s won what there is to win.”
He’s a proven winner and a player we have followed for many years.
United have had some mad deadline day scrambles in recent years – but this time they have done their business early with Varane and £73million winger Jadon Sancho.
That could be it – unless Paul Pogba or another player goes for substantial money and Solskjaer is happy with the backing he has had.
He said: “I’m very happy getting both our players in. We’ve scrambled at the end of the window before – but now we are in a good position. The club has shown their ambition.
“Every manager will be happy the sooner it’s done, this time we managed to get it sorted, the two we got in will make a huge difference, short and long term.”
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Solskjaer said he will decide in the next few days whether Marcus Rashford will have shoulder surgery which would keep him out for three months.
He said: “With Marcus, we’ll make a decision in the next few days, check him again. What’s best for him and the club has to be considered.”
Meanwhile around 30,000 fans returned to Old Trafford to see Solskjaer’s men twice pegged back by Premier League new boys Brentford in a 2-2 draw.
Anthony Elanga brilliantly turned in a cross by Aaron Wan Bissaka but Shandon Baptiste fired a stunner past Tom Heaton to equalise.
Andreas Pereira – who is expected to head out on loan again – then scored the goal of the night with a sensational 25 yard volley.
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It did not prove to be the winner however as the Bees levelled again when Diogo Dalot was caught out and Bryan Mbuemo cut in from the right to curl home.
Young Swedish forward Elanga, 19 has impressed Solskjaer and plans to send him out on loan could yet be halted.
He said: “Elanga is a big decision. We need to think about Rashford – and what’s his injury status. We’ll make a decision when he comes back.”