Raphael Varane to Manchester United: Officials make enquiry for Real Madrid defender as part of negotiations for David De Gea

Varane is highly rated across Europe and is believed to be a future target of Chelsea's Jose Mourinho, but Real have insisted he is not for sale

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Manchester United have made an enquiry over the availability of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane as part of the negotiations over David De Gea's proposed move in the opposite direction, it has been reported.

De Gea is wanted by Real as the long-term successor to Iker Casillas, who could find himself on the move this summer to accommodate the United goalkeeper. However, with United determined to hold out for what they believe is a fair fee for the Spain international, Spanish newspaper Marca is reporting that the Premier League club enquired about French defender Varane.

The highly-rated 22-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premier League over the last year, although Chelsea have always been seen as the front-runners given Varane’s ties with former Real manager Jose Mourinho.


The report adds that United are willing to spend a considerable fee on Varane if he is indeed available this summer, but Real made it perfectly clear that the centre-back is not for sale for any price and that a deal for him is non-negotiable.

United manager Louis van Gaal is determined to strengthen his defence given last season’s troubles with injuries to the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcus Rojo, although the club’s progress in the transfer window has been slow up until now.

Having moved to sign Netherlands winger Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven before the end of the season, United are yet to make any further in roads and their defence remains as it was come the end of the Premier League campaign.

Varane tussels with former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata

The club have been linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels as well as Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi, but at present the club are not close to signing any of their defensive targets and fans will continue to grow restless by the day if reinforcements aren’t brought in to try and convince them that ambitions to challenge for the title are genuine at Old Trafford.