Liga - Transfer round-up: Varane turns down Barca, United step up interest in Thiago

A round-up of the day’s transfer gossip from Spain as Raphael Varane turns down a sensational Spanish switch.

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Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane (Reuters)

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has reportedly turned down recent advances from Barcelona over a proposed move this summer.

The Frenchman enjoyed a strong second half to the season at the Santiago Bernabeu, earning rave reviews and reportedly attracting the interest once more of Manchester United.

TV3 say that Barca had also taken note and alongside the English were prepared to pay up his €30m (£25.5m) buyout clause.

However, in contacting the player’s agents recently, the Catalans were reportedly turned down.

The 20-year-old, whose form since January earned him his first caps with the France national side, apparently turned down the advance from Madrid’s rivals, out of a determination to ‘repay the confidence’ Los Blancos have demonstrated in him.

Manchester United have reportedly stepped up their pursuit of Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara ahead of preparing to make an offer.

The midfielder has attracted attention this summer in light of a clause in his contract reportedly dropping his buyout clause at Barca from its usual €90m (£76.5m) rate down to €18m (£15.3m).

A clause activated due to the player not appearing in a certain percentage of games otherwise eligible for last term, Thiago is reportedly the subject of interest from both United and their rivals Manchester City, whilst rumours last week also suggested an approach from Real Madrid.

It is United that the English media believe today are advancing through, with the Daily Mirror reporting that David Moyes’ side have approached Thiago’s camp over a possible move and had a positive response back from his father, 1994 World Cup winner Mazinho.

Moyes is described as having progressed ‘behind the scenes’ in looking to secure the Spain Under-21 regular, and an offer to both the player and his club is anticipated soon.

Thibaut Courtois has revealed that he had to convince Jose Mourinho against keeping him at Chelsea for next season.

The Belgian indicated over the weekend that Atletico Madrid will have him for a third consecutive year on loan from the London side.

Whilst no official announcement has come, the 21-year-old has reflected further on the deal and revealed his discussion with former Real Madrid and now returned Chelsea boss Mourinho.

“If it were up to him, he would have had me already for next season,” Courtois told Nieuwsblad today.

“I told him that this is a very important year for me. I want to remain as the first choice ‘keeper for Belgium in a year where we can go to the World Cup in Brazil.

“To do this I have to keep playing in a team at a high level because the competition for the national team is very hard.

“Chelsea have Petr Cech, who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Mourinho would prefer to have all of his best goalkeepers with him.

“He would have liked that Petr and I were under his command next season at Chelsea and it is logical, but he has also understood my position.

“During the season we will see where my future is after this year, but that is still far away.

“Someday I would like to work with Mourinho, it was my desire when I signed for Chelsea a few years ago.”

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