Real Madrid are expecting Raphael Varane to leave the club amid strong interest from Manchester United, according to reports.
The Spanish giants are planning for life without the France international, who has just one year remaining on his contract.
Madrid have offered Varane an extension, Goal.com reports, but the defender’s silence on the matter suggests he will be heading through the exit door.
Madrid have opted against tabling a second deal and now accept that Varane is likely to be playing his football elsewhere next term.
That will come as a boost to United’s chances of landing the 28-year-old as their summer business continues apace.
The Red Devils are on the verge of confirming the signing of Jadon Sancho in a deal worth £73m.
The England international has been their primary target since 2020 and United are now poised to turn their attention elsewhere.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to bolster his defensive ranks, with his priority being a new partner for Harry Maguire at centre-back.
Varane is his first choice and, given his quality and experience, it is not hard to see why.
The report states that Madrid are braced to receive a formal approach next week, as United look to conclude their business as early as possible.
The Premier League season gets under way in less than a month, and Solskjaer wants to get his squad in place before the big kick-off.
That is sensible. United finished second last term for only the second time in the post-Alex Ferguson era.
Yet they never really got close to challenging for the title, and that must change in 2020/21.
Given the relentless pace that Manchester City and Liverpool have set in recent years, United cannot afford to start the season slowly.
Being able to line up with Varane and Maguire at centre-back on the opening day f the season would be a huge boost.
United must still agree a fee with Madrid, but Varane appears to be edging closer to Old Trafford.