Man Utd continue chase for Real Madrid defensive rock

Manchester United are keeping tabs on the developing situation regarding Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane’s contract, reports say.

The 27-year-old’s future in Spain appears to be uncertain amid internal concerns that Raphael will decide against extending his deal with the club.

Real’s focus in the latest months has mostly been with captain Sergio Ramos, who has been tipped to leave for nothing at the end of the season.

United have been strongly linked with the veteran defender for a while, but it has been suggested that they could turn their attention towards his team-mate Raphael, a reported long-term target of United’s chief Ed Woodward.

The French star remains under contract at the Santiago Bernabeu until June 2022 but there has been little progress with a view to an extension.

Although Los Blancos’ preference is to keep hold of Raphael, club chiefs are weighing up the prospect of selling their man during the summer if the player refuses to commit to a new deal.

The La Liga giants’ management could accept a sum as low as £43 million for his services, according to a report by Marca.

The report adds that Real are well aware of the Red Devils’ interest, but could instead be looking to sell to Paris Saint-Germain in order to build a ‘positive trading relationship’ ahead of a future swoop for star striker Kylian Mbappe.

The player’s chances of a transfer away could be boosted if the Spanish side manage to secure the signing of Bayern Munich contract rebel David Alaba on a free transfer in the summer.