The France international was hours away from joining United from Lens in 2011 before Sir Alex Ferguson’s move for the centre-back was hijacked by Zinedine Zidane, who was asked to speak to Varane by Real’s hierarchy.
Varane’s choice to move to the Bernabeu was an inspired one, with the defender winning the Champions League on four occasions during his ten-year stint in the Spanish capital.
But the defender is now keen for a fresh challenge and United have been given encouragement that he wants to move to Old Trafford, according to the Daily Mail.
Varane has a year left on his deal at the Bernabeu and with little sign that he’s receptive to signing an extension, the club will have no option but to sell this summer in order to avoid losing him for free in 2022.
With that in mind, Madrid hope to raise as much as £60m through the sale of the France international this summer.
But United have been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the club had budgeted for this summer on the basis that fans would return to Old Trafford this season – which of course did not materialise.
They will therefore try to talk Madrid down from their valuation, with a figure of around £45m considered a more reasonable asking price from United’s perspective.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to pair Harry Maguire with a faster centre-back partner, which would allow United to play a higher line against opponents.
Victor Lindelof has partnered Maguire for much of the season but while the Swede is capable in possession, he lacks the physicality and speed that Solskjaer wants.