Man United target Varane at Real Madrid training amid rising speculation over future – ESPN

Manchester United‘s bid to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid is nearing the final stages after successful negotiations over the weekend, sources told ESPN.

Talks with Varane’s representatives over personal terms and with Real Madrid over a fee are being described as “positive,” fuelling increasing optimism at Old Trafford that a deal for the Frenchman can be concluded.

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The 28-year-old has one year left on his contract at the Bernabeu and has so far been reluctant to enter talks over a fresh agreement. If the stand-off continues, Real Madrid risk losing the defender for free in 12 months’ time if they do not sanction a departure this summer.

Sources have told ESPN that United still hope to drive down an asking price of around €50 million but the gap in valuation is not considered to be overly problematic provided Real Madrid’s position does not change.

Varane returned to training with the Spanish giants last week and while sources have suggested he is keen to take on a new challenge in the Premier League, he will not force a move away and instead let negotiations between the two clubs play out. There were reports in Spain that Varane had missed training on Monday but the defender was at Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground.

United’s priority in the transfer market is to sign a new centre-back before the deadline after finalising a move for Jadon Sancho. A midfielder and a right-back are also on the list but sources told ESPN that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching staff accept funds are not unlimited and some targets may have to wait until next summer.

Meanwhile, Sancho — who completed his £72.9m move from Borussia Dortmund on Friday — and the rest of the players involved in international finals this summer are expected back in training before the final friendly of the summer against Everton at Old Trafford on Aug. 7.

Before then, United face Brentford at Old Trafford on Wednesday and Championship side Preston North End at Deepdale on Saturday.

“The English players and Fred, the ones who played Euros and Copa America and went all the way to the finals, needed a break as well, they’re back with us in about 10 days time,” Solskjaer said following the 4-2 defeat to QPR on Saturday.

Alex Telles, however, is set to miss the start of the season because of an ankle injury which ruled him out of the game at Loftus Road.

“Alex slipped and he twisted his ankle so he’ll be out for a few weeks,” Solskjaer said.

“We’re hoping that it’s not going to be too bad but he’ll be out for a little while.”

Information from ESPN’s Adriana Garcia was used in this report.

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