Manchester United are considering an offer from Real Madrid to take Uruguayan defender Guillermo Varela on loan for the 2014/15 campaign with a view to a permanent transfer.
TalkSPORT cites reports in the Italian press which suggest the 21-year-old right-back is being lined up for a move to the Santiago Bernabeu despite not yet making a first-team appearance for the Red Devils.
Louis van Gaal overlooked Varela for Manchester United's pre-season tour of North America and has shown no signs of including him in his senior squad at Old Trafford moving forward.
The former Penarol star was snapped up by the Premier League club for around £2 million last summer, with David Moyes deciding to offer the South American starlet a long-term five-year contract.
Varela was expected to continue his development and begin pushing Rafael for a starting spot on the right side of Manchester United's defence, but his failure to feature for the senior side in any competition speaks volumes about his current standing at Old Trafford.
His fall to relative obscurity makes Real Madrid's alleged interest even more baffling, but Carlo Ancelotti has obviously seen some potential in the player having sanctioned an approach for the youngster.
Providing Varela's loan stint goes well, Real Madrid are ready to pay around £4 million for his permanent services next summer, which would mean Manchester United stand to make a 100 per cent profit on an as yet uncapped player.
It's a move that would certainly be regarded one of the biggest shocks of the summer transfer window so far, with Real Madrid ordinarily recruiting high-profile names from the world of elite level football.
The marquee capture of James Rodriguez from AS Monaco in a reported €80 million deal captured plenty of headlines after the Colombian forward's impressive performances at the World Cup, while the addition of German midfielder Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich has also been celebrated by Los Blancos supporters.
Varela has nothing like the kind of profile normally expected of a Real Madrid player, although the last time the Spanish giants signed someone from Manchester United, it didn't work out too badly.