Gary Neville ranks defender linked with Spurs ahead of Virgil van Dijk

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur were linked with an audacious move for Real Madrid defender Rafael Varane during the January transfer window.

Needless to say, some Tottenham fans laughed off the speculation with a few of the North London faithful labelling the club’s hopes of landing the French international as pure fantasy.

However, El Desmarque explained in January that the 26-year-old could be looking for a new challenge after making over 300 appearances for Los Blancos and winning 16 major trophies with the club.

It was suggested that Jose Mourinho, the man who handed Varane his Real Madrid debut, could convince the centre-half to make the switch to the Premier League.

They were not alone in the claim either with the Daily Star also reporting that he was one of the centre-backs on Tottenham’s radar.

The Real Madrid star’s contract with Los Blancos runs out in summer of 2022 (transfermarkt) and is yet to sign a contract extension.

Former Manchester United player Gary Neville has now said that he believes Varane is an even better defender than Virgil van Dijk.

While picking his football draft top 10s for Sky Sports, the pundit mentioned how he rated the Frenchman higher than the Liverpool star while making a point about how we tend to overrate players who play in the Premier League.

Neville said: “I think we’ve got an amazing group of young players in England, but we have to think about the other players that exist.

“Jadon Sancho is a talent, but we can’t start putting him in the category of these world stars who are winning European Cups and World Cups regularly.

“That’s why I put Raphael Varane ahead of Virgil van Dijk. He’s won so many European Cups, a World Cup, he’s an amazing player.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Even if this transfer was somehow a possibility due to Mourinho’s relationship with Varane, it is not going to happen this summer given the financial constraints clubs are facing. However, I agree with Neville’s sentiment that Varane is the most talented central defender in world football, which is why Real Madrid will do all they can to convince him to finish his career at the Spanish capital.

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