Florentino Perez has reportedly claimed that Manchester United were interested in a stunning summer swoop for Real Madrid trio Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane, according to the Metro.
Despite doing a lot of early business during this window, Louis van Gaal appeared keen to bolster both his attacking ranks while also adding an extra centre-back, which explains why those three were targeted.
The Red Devils were heavily linked with Varane’s defensive partner Sergio Ramos until the Spaniard signed a new contract at the Bernabeu, and perhaps they felt that Ramos’ decision to stay may have tempted his young teammate to move on if he wanted regular first-team football.
Meanwhile, following the late departure of Javier Hernandez, van Gaal was going into the final days of the window with just Wayne Rooney as a natural forward. While they added Anthony Martial on deadline day, the Dutchman would have surely been much more confident with what was available to him had he added either Benzema – who was wanted by Arsenal (via Metro) – or Bale, who, unlike Martial, are both proven at the very highest level.
And while United fans may be hoping that they may be able to tempt at least one of the three away from the Bernabeu – should Varane struggle to oust Ramos or Pepe, or Benzema find that Rafa Benitez prefers to use Cristiano Ronaldo in the central striker role, or Bale receives the level of criticism he received last term – recent events would suggest that may be tricky.
The bizarre situation regarding David de Gea has seen the European heavyweights criticise each other (via Daily Mail), making it seem somewhat unlikely that Los Blancos will be happy to allow any of the three to move to Old Trafford.