The 22-year-old Italian posted a photo of himself together with Varela on Instagram, alongside the message: Mucha suerte hermanito galactico! (Lots of luck Galactico brother) Goodluck bro!”
This was then followed by several hashtags, including: “#realmadrid” and “#galactico”.
No official confirmation... yet
Neither Real Madrid nor Manchester United have made any announcement over the rumoured deal so far, but Varela was strongly linked with a move to the Bernabeu in the closing days of the summer transfer window.
The 21-year-old right-back, who arrived at Old Trafford from Uruguayan giants Penarol in 2013, has not made a single senior appearance for the Red Devils. But this has not deterred Real Madrid from making a move for the former Uruguay Under-20 international.
Varela free to leave United
Varela was free to leave Manchester United after manager Louis van Gaal opted against calling up the South American defender for the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.
But it’s believed Varela’s move to Real Madrid would be a season-long loan rather than a permanent transfer; the defender, who cost United £2 million, still has four years left on his contract at Old Trafford.
Varela was brought to Manchester United to provide competition for Brazil international Rafael, but failed to convince David Moyes that he was ready for first-team action.
Moyes’ successor, Van Gaal, has now changed United’s formation to a 3-5-2, but the veteran Dutch coach is seemingly unconvinced that Varela is ready to compete for the right wing-back spot at Old Trafford.
Varela to join up with Real Madrid Castilla?
If he joins Real Madrid this week, Varela - who is valued at £4 million - will almost certainly join up with Real Madrid Castilla, now managed by the legendary Zinedine Zidane, rather than the European champions’ first team.
Los Blancos were expected to lose back-up right-back Alvaro Arbeloa before the transfer window closed, but the Arsenal and Chelsea target remains at the Bernabeu for the time being.
The talented Spain Under-21 international Dani Carvajal is currently the first-choice right-back at Real Madrid - and is expected to hold down that position for many years to come.
As for United, it seems Van Gaal will persist with the frustrating Antonio Valencia as his first-choice right wing-back, although the pressure on the Red Devils’ manager to change the club’s formation to a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 will intensify should the club continue their poor start to the season.
Van Gaal is still looking for his first competitive win as Manchester United manager; the Red Devils have taken just two points from their opening three Premier League matches are were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by MK Dons, who recorded a famous 4-0 win over the English giants last week.
Varela looks set to become the second Manchester United player to join Real Madrid this week, after striker Javier Hernandez secured a move to the Bernabeu on Monday.