Manchester United are considering a move for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane at the end of the season. The Express claims Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are also interested in the player. The 19-year-old joined the Spanish champions in 2011, from Ligue 2 side Lens.
The report suggests Varane has been on Sir Alex Ferguson's radar since his time with the French club. The central defender has been in impressive form for his side so far, with goals and a brilliant defensive performance in each of the two legs of the Copa Del Rey tie against Barcelona.
Varane was in similarly superb form over the weekend, when Madrid beat their rivals for the second time inside a week, in a La Liga match at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ferguson will have the perfect opportunity to observe the youngster's credentials at Old Trafford, when Madrid visit for the second leg of their Champions League knock-out tie on Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, Varane himself has entertained no notion of leaving Madrid just yet. He stressed he was still improving and was ready
"I try to improve and learn, that is good for my career. I'm ready to play and to help the team and that is what I am here for," Varane explained.
Ferguson will be aware that prising Varane away from Madrid will be a difficult task. The defender, despite his age, has already established himself as one of the club's most important players and is rapidly becoming a fan favourite.
The one window of opportunity for United will be if Jose Mourinho leaves the club at the end of the season. Even then, though, president Florentino Perez and the new manager, whoever he may be, will be extremely unhappy at the thought of losing the young Frenchman.
Varane's contract with the club expires in 2017.
Should he move to Old Trafford, the prospect of Varane alongside Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in United's defensive line is an exciting one. Their youth and speed will provide veterans Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic the perfect foil, even as they mentor the next generation of Untied defenders.