Manchester United have been described as ‘close’ to agreeing personal terms with Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane ahead of a proposed summer transfer, with an overall deal having the potential to be concluded in the coming weeks.
United remain keen on a new centre-back to serve as a long-term partner to Harry Maguire and have seriously considered the likes of Pau Torres and Jules Kounde in recent months.
But the opportunity to sign Varane, who at 28 is still a worthwhile addition for at least the next four or five years, has come along more recently since it became apparent that the four-time Champions League winner is looking to leave Real in search of a new challenge.
Varane, a World Cup winner and Ballon d’Or nominee in 2018, only has one year left on his Real contract and failure to agree an extension could result in him leaving the club as a free agent next year unless a sale can be agreed this summer.
The Manchester Evening News writes that Real will not entertain losing him without a transfer fee, making a sale this summer now highly likely.
It is said that United are ‘not far off’ securing an agreement with Varane’s camp over personal terms. But even though negotiations have been described as ‘slow’ there has been no rush because the player has been on a summer break since France were knocked out of Euro 2020.
Varane’s personal preference is said to be to head straight to Manchester once his break is over, rather than have to report for pre-season duty with Real when he is expecting to leave the club.