Chelsea are desperate to sign €70m-rated France international

The London giants are set to meet Real Madrid’s €70m asking price for Raphael Varane this summer, according to latest reports. France international is about to enter the final year of his deal with the Los Blancos with the defender currently unwilling to extend his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The La Liga giants are not willing to let Varane run down his deal and are keen to avoid a long-running saga over the summer with the club resigned to losing him at the end of the campaign. Man United and PSG are among the teams interested in signing Raphael but Blues are now leading the race to sign him, at the request of the German manager.

The report adds the Blues are willing to pay Real Madrid’s €70m asking price for the 28-year-old centre-back. Last week, Los Blancos president Florentino Perez opened the door for the French defender’s exit.

La Liga giants could lose Sergio Ramos this summer but Perez appears in no mood to allow the World Cup-winning defender to hold the club to ransom and he confirmed on Spanish radio that the footballer can leave if he wants.

‘Varane? I’m happy with our team… if players don’t want to stay at Madrid they can leave,’ said Perez. Varane is said to be open to a new challenge having spent a decade at the Bernabeu.

Chelsea have been in fine form since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as a coach, but there’s still room for improvement and Raphael would bring plenty of quality and experience to this squad. Varane is nearing the final year of his deal at Real so it looks realistic that Madrid could look to cash in on him this summer.