Chelsea Transfer News: Raphael Varane Talks Offer Hope, Latest on Christian Atsu

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2014

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 20: Raphael Varane of Real Madrid CF controls the ball during the training session held the Real Madrid media day, prior to UEFA Champions League final against Club Atletico de Madrid, at Valdebebas Sport City on May 20, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho may be tempted back into the transfer market if Raphael Varane becomes available, according to reports.

Ben Jefferson of the Express details the Portuguese manager's love for the Real Madrid defender, who he signed to the Bernabeu club during his tenure in Spain. Jefferson indicates all is not well with Varane's contract, potentially leaving the door open to a reunion with Mourinho after Miranda was said to snub the opportunity to join Chelsea from Atletico Madrid:

"Varane has demanded contract talks with Real after hinting that he was not happy with his current wages," writes Jefferson. "And if those talks do not go well, that would pave the way for Mourinho to swoop."

Mourinho is known to rate Varane's talents exceptionally highly, and hasn't stopped admiring the player since he returned to Stamford Bridge. Back in March, Mourinho outlined Varane as "the best young central defender in the world," reported by The Sun and via Elliott Bretland of the Daily Mail.

Such compliments don't come easy from a manager who always looks to get the most out of his players. At 21 years old, Varane is cool-headed and ready to contribute whenever called upon.

The Frenchman made 14 appearances under Carlo Ancelotti last season before playing five of Les Bleus' World Cup matches, as he steadily gets used to facing top-quality opponents on a weekly basis, per

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 04:  Raphael Varane of France controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between France and Germany at Maracana on July 4, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Varane stands over 6'2" tall and is athletic, making him a useful asset when defending against counterattacks. He reads the game well and is comfortable on the ball, stepping out of the back line with long strides that place his team onto the front foot.

He is likely to replace the ill-disciplined Pepe in Los Blancos' back line at some point in the future, if Mourinho doesn't steal his services once more. Chelsea's centre-back numbers are stacked with quality, including John Terry, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic, Tomas Kalas, Nathan Ake and Kurt Zouma, all of whom can dominate through the centre.

Imagining a future central-defensive partnership of Varane and Zouma is likely to fill fans with the most excitement. Both possess raw power that will develop as their careers progress, while both have already shown the grittiness and natural fight to make it at top clubs.

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 02:  Head coach Jose Mourinho (R) and Real madrid player Raphael varane prior to start a press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal match between Real Madrid and Galatasaray AS at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Ap
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Mourinho's defence appears in good shape ahead of the Premier League season—forgetting the recent 3-0 friendly loss to Werder Bremen—adding to an explosive attacking lineup that can grab Chelsea the title.

Christian Atsu is set to be pushed into another loan move due to the likes of Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Mohamed Salah and Oscar being at the club, but his destination no longer looks likely to be Everton. This deal has broken down due to Chelsea's belief the Ghanaian won't receive ample playing time, reported by Darren Lewis of the Mirror.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez confirmed he wants to tie up another winger. "We are looking for a wide player that is going to help us in a position that we need to strengthen going into the season," he said, per Everton TV and via Simon Jones of the Daily Mail. "We are going to take as long as we need but hopefully it will be earlier rather than later."

It will certainly be difficult for Atsu to force himself into the first-team picture. Romelu Lukaku, a striker many tipped for great things at Chelsea, recently failed to do so, despite excellent form during loan spells with West Brom and Everton. As such, the Toffees snapped him up for £28 million, per ESPN.

NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 16: Christian Atsu of Ghana controls the ball against DaMarcus Beasley of the United States during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Ghana and the United States at Estadio das Dunas on June 16, 2014 in Natal, Brazil
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Such money can be used to tempt Varane into a move, if Mourinho proves to be serious about the player. While Atsu wouldn't command such a hefty fee, ridding his wages from the club bill could also be a useful method of making an attempt to sign the Real Madrid defender.