Man Utd boss Solkjaer already has ‘new signing’ that is a great Raphael Varane alternative

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Manchester United don’t need to sign Raphael Varane this summer, because Eric Bailly’s return will be like a “new signing”, says former midfielder Lee Sharpe.  Bailly, who signed for the club from Villarreal in 2016, has only featured 11 times for United in the league this season due to injury.

But, having started the last two games, Sharpe believes that the Ivorian’s return could mean that the club won’t have to spend big on a centre-back this summer.

“[Raphael] Varane would be a good signing, but then again, Bailly coming back is also going to be a little bit like a new signing as well, because he’s been missing for so long,” Sharpe, who played 193 times for the club, told GentingBet.

“The issue is that every team likes to play with a settled back four and goalkeeper and United haven’t always had that.

“I know Lindelof has played the majority of the season, we’ve just seen Bailly sign a new contract – he’s over his injuries and I like him as a player.

“If he can get a run of games, I think he’ll be a valuable centre back for the team.

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“Lindelof is a top draw centre half but is he world-class? Tuanzebe plays a little bit but it would be good to get a world-class centre half next to Maguire and have a regular partnership for him.

“If they look outside of Bailly and Lindelof then they do need to go and get someone, and get someone quickly, and sort it out right at the end of the season so it’s all done and dusted, and there’s no drama about who’s coming in, and who’s not coming in.”

As well as Varane, the Red Devils have been linked with a number of other defenders, including Sven Botman, Cristian Romero and Nikola Milenkovic.

But Sharpe believes that, if United are to sign a centre-back, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should avoid any of those options and, instead, opt for a more experienced defender who will slot straight into the first team.

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He explained: “I don’t really know whether they need a young up and coming centre back, I think Manchester United need to bring someone in that can go straight into the team, that’s experienced, that can help the players in front of them.

“They need someone that’s good at organising, that knows their role, and can help organise midfielders in front of them so that it becomes a defensive unit, rather than a back four.

“An experienced centre back on both sides would help the full-backs as well.

“So, I would always go for experience in the centre back situation rather than a young lad.”

Meanwhile, Luke Shaw has had a solid season for United and Sharpe thinks Jose Mourinho’s departure has played a big part.

“You would have to say, as far as left-backs go, that he’s definitely the best in the country,” he said.

“He’s had an unbelievable season – all credit to him as well, after he had a tough time under Mourinho who threw him under the bus with about his weight and his performances and said he couldn’t perform unless Mourinho was on the touch line telling him exactly what to do.

“It seems quite funny that now Mourinho’s gone he’s playing the best football of his life, so I don’t know what Mourinho was telling him to do on the sidelines!

“I’ve always liked Luke Shaw, I think he’s a fantastic player. When you look at attacking fullbacks, a lot of the time they are susceptible to a couple of defensive mistakes a game, and he doesn’t. He looks really defensively strong, makes the right decisions, gets forward, very rarely gives the ball away.”

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