Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Raphaël Varane and Jadon Sancho will make a “huge difference” for Manchester United. Having finished runners-up in last season’s Premier League and Europa League, the Old Trafford giants have made waves in the transfer market in an attempt to bring silverware back to the club.
Sancho last week completed his £73m switch from Borussia Dortmund and United announced on Tuesday that a deal had been struck with Real Madrid for Varane, a longstanding target. The World Cup-winning French defender has agreed personal terms on a four-year deal with the option of another season, with the contract to be signed after he completes his medical following quarantine.
“Of course very happy that we’ve managed to get a deal with Real Madrid,” Solskjær said. “The medical should hopefully be OK and he’s a proven winner. He’s a player we’ve followed for many, many years.
“I know Sir Alex [Ferguson] was very, very close to signing him, so this time around we’ve got him at the other end of his career. He’s proved over his whole career what a good person he is first of all, a professional, and he’s won everything there is to win. I’m very happy about getting both our players in.
“First of all, the club shows ambition with one of the most exciting young forwards in world football and one of the most respected centre-backs in the world. With him in of course we’ve got different ways of playing as well. I can see different ways of playing with Raphaël. I can’t wait to get him in. Hopefully we can get that sorted as soon as.”
Asked when the medical can take place with Covid-19 restrictions in place, Solskjær said: “From what I know the club is working on the quickest possible solution to get everything sorted. I don’t know the timescale on it yet. Of course there’s a visa coming into England now with Brexit and the quarantining, so everything has to be done as quickly as possible but by the book.”
Varane and Sancho are statement signings from the club, who have also brought back Tom Heaton and are still looking to do more business this summer.
“I think, as I’ve said before, every manager would be happy the sooner and earlier the deals are done and this year we’ve managed to get it sorted,” Solskjær said after Wednesday’s 2-2 friendly draw against Brentford in front of 30,000 fans at Old Trafford. “I think the two we’ve got in will make a huge difference for us, both this season short-term but also long-term. Raphaël is into his prime as a centre-back. He’s the same age  as Harry [Maguire], a year older than Eric [Bailly] and a couple years older than Victor [Lindelöf, who is actually 27] so I’ve got a fantastic group of centre-backs.
“With Jadon as well, with the young forwards we’ve got it’s exciting. As a manager you can’t ask for more backing when you’ve got these two in as early as we have. We’ve scrambled before towards the end of the window and now I think, I have to say, we’re in a good position. Pre-season is always difficult, though, in a championship year, never mind in the pandemic with the quarantining and isolation.
“You can see the team tonight, there’s loads of youngsters still. Everyone who has worked pre-season has done well and now they’re coming in dribs and drabs. We haven’t got time to play catchup so the others turning up late who don’t get a proper pre-season or are not fit when they come in, they might struggle to get into the team because today was a very good performance.”
Solskjær added that United will make a decision with Marcus Rashford on whether he undergoes shoulder surgery in the coming days.