Real Madrid have given Raphael Varane’s agent approval to hold talks with Manchester United, according to reports in Spain.
After securing an €85million deal to sign Jadon Sacho from Borussia Dortmund on Thursday, United are now focusing on recruiting a new centre-back to bolster Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defensive options.
Varane is Solskjaer’s preferred option this summer, although Villarreal’s Pau Torres is also on United’s shortlist if an agreement for the France international cannot be reached.
But according to Marca, Madrid have now accepted that Varane will not sign an extension to his current contract, which expires next summer, and the Spanish club are now actively looking to sell the 28-year-old.
The report claims that Madrid would be open to an offer of €50m (£43m) and they have authorised Varane’s agent to negotiate directly with United over a potential deal.
Meanwhile, Spanish newspaper AS claim that Carlo Ancelotti has privately spoken to Varane in an attempt to convince the defender to stay at Madrid.
But Madrid now face the prospect of losing both Varane and Sergio Ramos in the same summer.
Ramos, who failed to agree a new contract in his final few months at the Santiago Bernabeu, is now expected to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
United, meanwhile, are also looking to sign a new defensive midfielder before the end of the window.
Declan Rice, who has rejected a contract offer from West Ham, is on Solskjaer’s shortlist but the England midfielder is also wanted by Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea.