Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to sign Raphaël Varane from Real Madrid?

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ASTANA. KAZINFORM - You've heard it before, you'll hear it again before the next transfer window opens, let alone shuts, so the Mill is not going to be shy: Chelsea want to buy Raphaël Varane from Real Madrid. How much is he going for? A snip at £30m for the France centre-back.

Yes, the very same Varane who helped orchestrate and lead Real's defence against Schalke on Tuesday night. Yes, that was a magisterial performance from Varane, worthy of Baresi (Franco, of course, not his brother) and Jürgen Kohler, all wrapped into one. You do remember the score from the Bernabéu, don't you? Well, let's just say Varane probably won't have the match report from Marca up on his bedroom wall. It didn't go well. In fact Varane had a stinker, much like the rest of the Real team. Yup, they lost 4-3. And they almost lost their manager, too.

But, hey ho, Chelsea need to spend, don't they? They have to show they can spend as well. Manchester City are going to spend a lot in the summer, Manchester United even more. After all, that money spent on Juan Cuadrado, Filipe Luís and Loïc Rémy was worth splashing out, wasn't it? Where were they against PSG?

And it doesn't stop there: that £30m is part of a £75m slush fund that Roman Abramovich has set aside for José Mourinho. Go on, José, spend some more. Buy me a striker (because Rémy isn't much back-up to Diego Costa), a playmaker (Oscar rolls around too much and Cesc Fàbregas is no good after November) and a central defender (did anyone think Gary Cahill's mistakes at the World Cup were one-offs ... or better make that two-offs)?

Talking of United, they are very keen on Memphis Depay. It could be something out of Tennessee Williams. Louis van Gaal has always relied on the kindness of strangers. Oh, forget it. Anyway, the winger is no stranger to Van Gaal, being one of his Holland squad at the World Cup last summer.

Apparently Depay, 21, who plays for PSV Eindhoven, is a cheapo £10m. How do we know he wants to join up with LVG? Because Depay favourited a tweet linking him to Old Trafford. It has come to this. What happened to meetings at motorway service stations? He wants to move to United? Well, Depay is no stranger to pain. He has a tattoo - on the inside of a lip.

Meanwhile Manuel Pellegrini, who is not enjoying the best of seasons but who will be suddenly seen as the most brilliant managerial brain since Marcelo Bielsa/Arrigo Sacchi/Ernst Happel, should Manchester City overcome Barcelona next week, could otherwise find himself farmed out to Napoli this summer. If, as expected, City do not overcome Barcelona. And if, as expected, City do not win the Premier League, Kazinform refers to the Guardian.com.

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