Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara believes Arsenal would have loved to have been able to sign incoming Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane this summer.
O’Hara has made the admission following the Gunners’ £50million acquisition of Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White, who finally completed his move to the Emirates Stadium on Friday after several weeks of discussions between the two clubs.
White’s £50million move to north London has been frequently compared to United’s move for Varane, with many people believing that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is landing the better player for a lesser fee. United are understood to have agreed a deal with Madrid to sign the France international in a deal that could eventually be worth £43million.
Considering United are on the cusp of landing one of the best centre-backs in the world for less than what Arsenal have paid to sign White, who has only played one full season in the Premier League, it makes the Reds’ move for Varane all the more impressive.
However, although O’Hara has praised White, who does have an exciting future ahead of himself, he has admitted that the Gunners would have loved to have been able to land Varane, insisting United can attract players of that calibre because of being involved in the UEFA Champions League.
O’Hara told talkSPORT: “He [White] is not unproven, he’s been playing in the Premier League. He’s played for England.
“He’s not Varane, but Arsenal are shopping in a different market.
“You have to pay a premium for English players, he’s a lot younger, and Manchester United can attract someone like Varane because they’re in the Champions League and they’re shopping in a different window. They can probably give him more money, more wages.
“Arsenal would love to have Varane, but he’s not going to go there, so they’re not shopping in that window because they can’t attract a Varane right now.
“They can attract a Ben White who is an up and coming talent, and you have to pay a premium for him, but you’re getting a very, very good player.
“But they’re putting a squad together that is a very young, exciting, talented squad. I’ve been impressed with what they’ve done so far.”
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