Manchester United are preparing a £19 million bid for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, which - if successful - would represent an £11 million discount on the Chelsea and Arsenal target's initial £30 million valuation.
The Daily Telegraph cites a report in Spanish publication Marca, suggesting the Red Devils are ready to bring the France international to Old Trafford in a cut-price deal, that is likely to anger rival Premier League suitors who have been keeping tabs on the centre-back for far longer.
Louis van Gaal is on the lookout for defensive reinforcements in the January window, and has identified the 21-year-old as the man to help strengthen his backline at the start of 2015.
Varane has fallen out of first-team favour at the Santiago Bernabeu this season as Carlo Ancelotti prefers to deploy a centre-back partnership of Sergio Ramos and Pepe.
It's understood the Italian tactician is willing to listen to offers for the talented stopper, but it will still come as a surprise to see the Frenchman depart Real Madrid for such a reduced fee.
The Daily Star reported back in November that Varane would not leave for anything less than £30 million, which is thought to be the reason why Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho are yet to firm up their interest in securing his signature.
News of his plummeting price-tag is sure to attract attention from the Emirates Stadium and Stamford Bridge again, but it looks as though Manchester United have already stolen a march in pursuit of the Frenchman's services.
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