Manchester United's complete focus is now on signing the ideal partner for Harry Maguire in defence, and the Red Devils are making progress - slowly but surely.

Raphael Varane remains the priority for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the club are now close to agreeing personal terms with the Real Madrid defender. The Frenchman is currently on holiday following his participation at the European Championship with his national team.

The Spanish club are reluctant to lose Varane this summer, but have their hands tied following his decision not sign an extension. The 28-year-old's current deal expires in 2022 and Real have no intention of letting him walk on a free transfer.

According to the Manchester Evening News, United have held talks with Varane's representatives and are close to an agreement. The Red Devils are hopeful of completing a deal for the Real star in the coming weeks.

Varane wants clarity on his future before he returns from holiday. The 2018 World Cup winner will prefer if he can join United rather than have to return to pre-season with his current employers before finalising a move.

The Premier League club and Real are yet to formally discuss a fee for the defender. The Spanish outfit are said to value Varane at £80 million, but the defender's contract situation is unlikely to allow them to demand such a high fee.

The Old Trafford outfit had previously offered a package worth £50 million for Varane, but it was rejected by Real. Despite the initial rejection, the Red Devils are confident they can land their priority defender target for a more reasonable price than Real's current valuation.

While Varane remains Solskjaer's preferred target to partner Maguire at the heart of United's defence next season, other players have also been looked at. Villarreal's Pau Torres and Sevilla plaayer Jules Kounde are the Norwegian manager's other options, with both players potentially available for a similar transfer fee to Varane.

Raphael Varane
French defender Raphael Varane led the way for Real Madrid OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP