While Real themselves are reluctant to part with the French centre-back, Varane himself is understood to be open to the idea of moving to the Premier League, having been in and out of Carlo Ancelotti’s line-up so far this season.
Aged 21, the 17-times capped international worked with Jose Mourinho at the La Liga giants between 2011 and 2013, and is said to still hold the Chelsea manager in high esteem after being groomed into one of the most promising defenders in world football under his tutelage.
Manchester United could have the edge over their rivals when it comes to negotiations, however, with Real’s longstanding interest in goalkeeper David de Gea giving them a prime bargaining chip.
Louis van Gaal is also reported to have Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin on his A-list of defensive targets but, despite his desire to bring in cover this month, the Dutchman is not thought to be considering an approach for either in the coming weeks.
It remains to be seen what kind of fee Varane’s services would command but, given his undoubted talent, Chelsea and United will no doubt have to be prepared to fork over a significant portion of their respective transfer budgets in order to bring him to England.