Manchester United are edging closer to the signing of Raphael Varane – but they aren't counting their chickens just yet.
Varane has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford and is set to enter into personal negotiations ahead of a potential switch from Real Madrid.
If terms can be agreed, United are expected to open a dialogue with Madrid over a transfer fee.
It is thought the 28-year-old centre-half is interested in the move if an agreement can be reached.
However, negotiations might not be quite that straightforward, as Paris Saint-Germain are also in talks with Varane's camp.
United are believed to be cautious about a deal after getting their fingers burned trying to sign Sergio Ramos in 2015.
Back then, the Red Devils received encouragement that Ramos would make the move to Old Trafford, only for him to sign a new contract to remain at the Bernabeu.
There is trepidation that Varane could pull a similar stunt with less than 12 months remaining on his current Real Madrid contract.
If everything goes to plan, however, then United will be in a strong position to negotiate an attractive fee for the defender.
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Varane is valued at around £80m, but it is unrealistic for Real to expect to get that sort of price for a player with less than a year remaining on his current deal.
United are keen to thrash out a much lower fee for the Frenchman knowing that he could leave the Bernabeu for free next season.
Madrid don't want to see him leave for nothing, so are likely to receive an offer well below Varane's true market rate.
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