Manchester United are getting closer to a deal to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane following positive talks over the weekend.
While the 28-year-old France centre-back has returned to pre-season training with Real, a switch to United is looking increasingly on the cards as discussions continue.
The Manchester Evening News claims United have agreed personal terms with Varane, 28, and are understood to almost reached an agreement on the transfer with Real Madrid.
Varane has a year left on his current contract with Real, who he joined from Lens in 2011.
He has helped the Spanish giants win a glut of silverware, including the Champions League four times and three LaLiga titles.
Varane has played 79 times for France and was part of the side that won the 2018 World Cup.
The Red Devils have also re-signed goalkeeper Tom Heaton this summer following his departure from Burnley.
Ex-United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has backed his former club’s chase of Varane.
He said: “He brings an absolute winning mentality. I think he’s played in 14 finals and won 14. So there’s an absolute winning mentality, he knows how to win, he’s got great experience and he’s an unbelievable specimen by the way.
“I’ve been saying alongside Maguire he needs someone with some pace the way Man United play.
“When I’ve seen Man United in problems and in trouble in games, a lot of the time teams have been given a bit of confidence or seen a chink in the armour of Man United when they see they can get people one v one or play the ball over the defence, into one of the channels and then it’s a race.
“We haven’t had the players quick enough to do that in the centre-back areas. If you get someone like him, people start thinking ‘well we ain’t gonna play the ball over the top cos Varane is gonna eat that up.’ Someone like him, he’ll bring that authority I hope to the back line.”