Chelsea have a history of gazumping Manchester United in the transfer market.
The two sides have arguably been the two most dominant of the Premier League era but the Blues seemingly have the edge over the Red Devils when it comes to convincing players to move to Stamford Bridge over Old Trafford.
Spanish winger Pedro was famously wanted by the two clubs in the summer of 2015 and United appeared to be favourites as their executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward reportedly flew to Barcelona to complete a deal for the former Blaugrana forward.
However, Chelsea swooped in and Pedro joined the London side, going on to score 43 goals and 28 assists for the club as he was an integral part of Antonio Conte’s 2016/17 title-winning team.
The Blues have enjoyed similar transfer success over United to sign Cesc Fabregas in 2014, Eden Hazard in 2012 and perhaps most famously John Obi Mikel in 2005, who signed a contract with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side before deciding that he would rather play for Jose Mourinho instead.
Chelsea could potentially repeat this re-occurring theme this summer by beating their domestic rivals to the signing of Raphael Varane, who is in ‘advanced talks’ with United, according to the Manchester Evening News.
However, Spanish newspaper Marca claim that the Blues have now registered their interest in the French international as Thomas Tuchel looks to bolster his defence ahead of next season.
The German coach has previously been linked with Varane’s compatriots Jules Kounde and Maxence Lacroix but Tuchel may think a move for the Real Madrid defender would be more sensible given he has just 12 months remaining on his current deal in the Spanish capital.
The 28-year-old has made 360 appearances for Los Blancos, winning three La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies during his ten-year stint at the Bernabeu.