Real Madrid CF have reached an agreement with Manchester United FC for the transfer of French defender Raphael Varane.

The deal has been in the news for the past week, and the two clubs officially confirmed the transfer via statements that were released on Tuesday. The Premier League side will reportedly be paying an initial fee of £34 million to the La Liga giants. However, according to the BBC, that amount may reach up to £42 million.

The 28-year-old Frenchman has agreed to a lengthy four-year deal with the Red Devils, including an additional 12-month extension option. With both sides in agreement, the transfer is expected to go ahead "subject to a medical and to player terms being finalised," according to United's statement.

Varane will have to be subjected to quarantine upon arrival in the UK, after which he will undergo his medical with the club.

Los Blancos are set to lose two first-choice central defenders this season, following the departure of both Varane and skipper Sergio Ramos. The club initially wanted the Frenchmen to stay, but eventually decided to cash in now instead of letting him leave on a free transfer at the end of the season when his current contract expires.

"Real Madrid wants to show all its affection to Raphael Varane and his family and wishes him good luck in this new stage of his professional career," read the statement from Los Blancos.

"Our club thanks you for your professionalism and exemplary behaviour during the 10 seasons in which you defended our shirt," the statement concluded.

Varane made 360 appearances for Real Madrid, winning numerous trophies along the way, including four UEFA Champions League trophies. He and Ramos had a strong partnership at the back, and their departure marks the end of an era at the club.

Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be delighted to complete his third signing this summer. He has so far sanctioned the re-signing of goalkeeper Tom Heaton and the highly-publicised move of England star Jadon Sancho from German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

Varane had been a Manchester United target even from the time of Sir Alex Ferguson. However, it was Real Madrid were able to pluck him away from French side Lens, where he started his career in the youth academy.

Raphael Varane
French defender Raphael Varane OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP