Raphael Varane
Flying high! Raphael Varane is attracting interest from Premier League clubs. Getty Images

Chelsea and Manchester United are keeping a watchful eye on Raphael Varane's situation at Real Madrid as the defender is looking to pen a vastly improved contract, according to reports.

The Red Devils are in the market for a centre-back following the exit of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand to Inter Milan and Queens Park Rangers respectively. Jose Mourinho too is pursuing a centre-back having sold David Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain for a staggering £50m fee.

Both clubs are believed to be admirers of the ex-Lens star and will consider angling for a move if negotiations between the player's representatives and his current employers reach an impasse.

The Daily Mail reports that the French international's representatives are ready for talks with the club's hierarchy in the coming weeks and are also seeking assurances over their client's regular first-team opportunities. He is said to be currently on £25,000-a-week wages and the French international wants the amount to be trebled to be on par with other members on the club's roster.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti opted for the experienced pair of Pepe and Sergio Ramos last campaign as Los Blancos lifted the Copa del Rey and the Champions League trophies.

The former AC Milan and Chelsea boss restricted Varane to just 23 appearances although he missed two months due to injury.

Varane featured in all five matches for Didier Deschamps's men in the World Cup as Les Bleus were eliminated in the quarterfinals against eventual champions Germany.

His performances also saw him being nominated for the Young Player of the Tournament award which went to his compatriot Paul Pogba.

The 21-year-old still has three years left in his current contract and will consider leaving the Spanish capital outfit to ply his trade in regular first team opportunities.

Mourinho is said to be keen on adding Varane to his roster once again, having done so for the first time in 2011 while holding the managerial reins at Santiago Bernabeu.

The Daily Mail report also suggests that the La Liga giants' refusal to accept the player's demands could trigger a bidding war beginning at £25m. New United manager Louis van Gaal has been urged to sign Varane by Ferdinand but the lure of teaming up with his former boss could tempt the Frenchman to make the switch to Stamford Bridge instead.