Manchester United open negotiations with Madrid defender Raphael Varane

Manchester United are heading close to another major summer acquisition, as they have been given permission to speak with Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, according to Sky Sports. The French international looks set to follow Sergio Ramos, who has joined PSG on a free transfer, by leaving the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer, as Carlo Ancelotti prepares an overhaul. United have held a long-standing interest in the defender, who came to Real Madrid in the summer of 2011 from Lens for just £9 million.

At 28 years of age, the French international is at the peak of his powers. However, his contract with the Spanish outfit comes to an end next summer and he will be able to discuss terms with a foreign club from January. Rather than lose him on a free, Madrid are reportedly ready to sell the defender, who have been a mainstay in the centre of the defence for the last few years along with Ramos.

Varane has been immensely successful at Real Madrid. He has made more than 200 league appearances for the club while lifting every major honour including three La Liga and four Champions League medals. Varane is also the World Cup winner with France back in 2018.

Such an experienced player would be a valuable addition to United, who have not had a huge amount of luck with regard to centre backs in the last few years. United are facing competition from PSG, who did unveil the signing of Ramos on a two-year contract.

If United do capture Varane from Real Madrid, he would become the second major signing of the summer after Jadon Sancho, who was recently captured from Borussia Dortmund for around £73 million. United finished last season in the second spot, but they had the worst defence among the top four teams with 44 goals conceded.