Raphael Varane is only 'hours away' from swapping Real Madrid for Manchester United, with a long-standing transfer saga edging to a close.
Varane, who has entered the final year of his deal in Madrid, has already informed the club of his desire to secure a blockbuster move to Old Trafford.
After losing Sergio Ramos to Paris Saint-Germain, Los Merengues were keen to keep hold of the 28-year-old, who has been an omnipresent figure since arriving from Lens in 2011.
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The long-serving captain left the Spanish capital after 16 years to join the Ligue 1 powerhouse on a free transfer earlier in the summer, leaving a sizeable gap at the back.
Now, the French star looks to be on the verge of following his long-term partner through the exit door, with a long-anticipated move to the Premier League on the cards.
However, the 2020/21 La Liga runners-up are reluctant to see the Ramos scenario repeating all over again and look to prevent Varane from leaving on a free next summer.
Madrid want to cash in on the World Cup winner as part of the club's bid to raise funds to finance Kylian Mbappe's arrival from PSG.
The France international has been an instrumental part of Madrid's trophy-laden generation, having lifted 18 major trophies, including four Champions League crowns.
Varane's imminent departure for Old Trafford would strike a devastating blow to Los Blancos' hopes of regaining La Liga supremacy next term.
With Ramos and his colleague out of the picture, Carlo Ancelotti would be short of reliable defensive options.
David Alaba switched from Bayern Munich on a free transfer earlier in the summer, putting pen to paper on a five-year contract.
But, the Austria international's primary position is a left-back, which leaves Eder Militao, Nacho and Jesus Vallejo as the only centre-back options.
Militao has endured a topsy-turvy two-year spell at the Santiago Bernabeu since his €50million move from Porto in summer 2019.
The Brazilian has failed to live up to his price tag, often being forced to play second fiddle to Ramos and Varane.
The same goes for Nacho, who has never managed to establish himself as a permanent starting XI fixture at the Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, Vallejo enjoyed a decent season-long loan at Granada but spearheading Madrid's backline could be a tall order for the 24-year-old.