Manchester United are set to be disappointed in their chase for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane despite the Spanish club sweating over his insistence to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.
The France international is entering the final year of his contract with Los Blancos. Real were hoping that he will accept their offer of an extension, but have been left stunned by his decision to seek pastures new this summer.
The 20-time English champions were heavily linked with a move for Varane and are likely to be in the race. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to sign a partner for Harry Maguire and feels the Frenchman will be ideal as a long-term solution.
But according to Spanish publication El Confidencial, the four-time Champions League winner is keen to return to his homeland, with Paris Saint-Germain expected to be his next destination. The Ligue 1 club are one of the few clubs that have the financial might to overpower United in a bidding war.
Real are reluctant to let Varane leave, but are unlikely to have too many options if they want to avoid losing him on a free transfer next summer. The La Liga giants, however, are not ready to compromise and are set to demand at least €60 million (£51.6 million) with €50 million being the lowest they will go.
The Spanish outfit are aware of the financial struggles impacting clubs across Europe owing to the pandemic. But Real are of the view that any interested club should meet their valuation keeping in mind Varane's credentials - along with winning at club level, he is also a World Cup winner in the prime of his career.
Meanwhile, Real are now facing the danger of losing two key defenders this summer with Sergio Ramos' contract expiring later this month. They are still negotiating with their skipper but there is no indication that he will remain at the Santiago Bernabeu in the long-term.
They are keen to bring in reinforcements and have identified Sevilla's Jules Kounde and Villarreal's Pau Torres. Both candidates are likely to cost close to €50 million, but Real are hoping to bring down the price by offering players as part of the deal.