Why Raphael Varane could take Tottenham to the next level under Mourinho

According to Spanish publication El Desmarque (h/t Daily Star), Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with a move for Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane ahead of the January transfer window. 

Jose Mourinho is keen on a reunion with his former Real Madrid defender in North London, with the report suggesting that Varane is open to a new challenge after winning two La Liga and four Champions League titles with the Los Blancos. (El Desmarque h/t Daily Star)

Varane, who made his move to the Bernabeu from French club Lens back in the summer of 2011, burst on to the scene in the La Liga under then Real Madrid manager Mourinho. 

The Portuguese tactician, who holds the Frenchman in high regard, even tried to bring him to English football during his managerial spell at Man United but ended up signing Eric Bailly instead. (h/t Daily Star)

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Raphael Varane has won two La Liga and four Champions League titles with Real Madrid (Getty Images)

As per the report, Mourinho is keen to beef up his backline during the mid-season transfer window in a bid to propel the club to a top-four finish in the Premier League and Varane is very much at the top of his wishlist. 

The Daily Star understands that the Lilywhites are preparing a staggering £69million offer to lure the 26-year-old to North London in January, although that amount might not be enough to tempt Madrid into selling one of their prized assets. 

Varane still has a contract at the Bernabeu until the summer of 2022 and it is understood that any fee to bring him to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could well eclipse the world-record figure of £80 million that Man United paid to Leicester City for Harry Maguire this past summer. 

Meanwhile, Spurs have enjoyed a mini rejuvenation under Mourinho since the Portuguese took over the reins from Mauricio Pochettino last month. The Lilywhites have won five out of Mourinho’s eight games in charge so far across all competitions but they are yet to beat any of the top sides in the Premier League. 

The North Londoners have crumbled to defeats against Man United and Chelsea on the domestic front while also losing to Bayern Munich on Matchday 6 of the Champions League, meaning that Mourinho is still awaiting his statement night as the manager of the club. 

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Varane was instrumental in France’s triumphant campaign at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia (Getty Images)

Indeed, at the end of the day, Mourinho’s credentials will be judged based on the team’s performances against the other top clubs in the Premier League, whilst the Round-of-16 Champions League tie against RB Leipzig is expected to be another big test.

Currently placed 7th in the standings, six points adrift of the top four, Spurs will need to put the foot on the accelerator in the second half of the campaign and the club’s business in the January window could well go a long way towards them achieve their objectives. 

As much as Tottenham have offered further up the pitch under Mourinho, the Portuguese gaffer has struggled to spark a turnaround in the team’s fortunes at the back. Spurs have shipped as many as 14 goals in 8 games under the new manager so far and that is something that they will surely need to improve on in the coming months. 

To put things into perspective, Tottenham are in dire need of a major reshuffle at the back and it is a no-brainer that someone like Raphael Varane would be a massive upgrade on the club’s existing defensive options. 

While both the full-back departments continue to be amongst the problem areas for Mourinho, Spurs can certainly do with some fresh recruits at the heart of the defence, with Jan Vertonghen out of contract in the summer and Davinson Sanchez proving himself to be an error-prone defender. 

Toby Alderweireld’s new contract until 2023 has certainly handed a massive boost to the club’s long-term plans, and notwithstanding the fact that the likes of Sanchez and Juan Foyth have a lot of potential, neither of them look good enough at the moment to deliver the goods week in, week out in the Premier League. 

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Mourinho handed Varane his Real Madrid debut back in 2011 during his managerial stint at the Bernabeu (Getty Images)

Verdict

To that end, Spurs need to bring in an immediate game-changer at the back if they are genuinely interested in a rapid turnaround of fortunes and Raphael Varane looks like the perfect option in that regard. 

A veteran of almost 300 appearances for Real Madrid and a serial winner on the European stage, Spurs can hardly find anyone better than Varane when it comes to adding that much-needed winning mentality to the squad.

The Lilywhites smashed their club-record fee to purchase Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon this past summer and they might need to go one step further to tempt Madrid to part ways with Varane, who is widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world. 

However, a significant outlay for the 2018 World Cup-winner would make perfect sense, given that Varane still has plenty of years remaining in his prime and Spurs definitely need to show more ambition in the market to rub shoulders with their Premier League rivals. 

With Varane and Alderweireld playing at the heart of the backline, Spurs will probably boast of one of the best defensive units not only in the Premier League but also in Europe and stability at the back could possibly allow the likes of Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Dele Alli to work their magic up top. 

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Suffice to say, Raphael Varane hardly needs an introduction to any football fan across the continent and Tottenham going all out to sign him would be a massive statement of intent from Mourinho.