Manchester United have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Raphael Varane.
The French defender has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer amid reports he’s ready for a new challenge.
According to Spanish TV show El Chiringuito, the World Cup winner has now told Real Madrid he wants to depart in the summer.
The return of Zinedine Zidane as manager sparked hopes he would reconsider and look to stay at the Bernabeu but he’s now understood to have communicated his desire for a summer transfer.
United are now on red alert as they ponder a huge £100million bid to try and land one of the top defenders in the world.
New permanent manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be a big fan of Varane, who is also thought to be keen on a Premier League move.
He will not be short of options, however, with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain also strongly linked to the 25-year-old as well as Premier League rivals Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Returning Los Blancos manager Zidane recently played down rumours of a move and issued a hands off warning to other clubs.
“I can tell you he is very happy here, has been here eight years, has done phenomenal so far,” he said.
“I don’t see him as people have said recently, he looks happy and committed in what he is doing.”
But the latest reports from Spain suggest he might be heading for a summer exit, which will be music to the ears of United chiefs looking to finally land a top defender following a lengthy search.