Manchester United have been given permission to approach Raphael Varane and are negotiating personal terms ahead of a potential move from Real Madrid.
If terms can be agreed, United are expected to open talks with Real Madrid over a fee – although Paris Saint-Germain are also in talks with Varane’s camp.
It is thought the 28-year-old centre-back would be open to the move if an agreement can be reached.
United are believed to be cautious as they do not want a repeat of what happened with Sergio Ramos in 2015, when they were given encouragement the player would come to Old Trafford – only for him to sign a new contract at the Bernabeu.
Varane still has a year left on his Real Madrid contract and United are keen to negotiate a lower transfer fee knowing he is free to sign a pre-contract agreement in January.
The France international is one of a number of centre-backs United are looking at this summer as they make the position a priority to strengthen.
Sky Sports News has already reported their interest in Atalanta’s Cristian Romero, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Lille defender Sven Botman.
The Premier League side have also moved to strengthen their attack, completing a deal to sign England international Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for £73m, subject to a medical.
Varane would be another significant statement of intent to compete with Manchester City for the Premier League title next season, having established himself as one of the world’s best defenders since joining Real from French side Lens in the summer of 2011.
He has gone on to make over 350 appearances for the club, and be capped 79 times by France, helping them to World Cup glory in 2018 and starting all four of their matches at Euro 2020 before they were knocked out Switzerland.