MANCHESTER UNITED have received a huge boost in their bid to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, according to reports.
Los Blancos' wage bill is reportedly set to be slashed by more than a third which has thrown massive doubt over the Frenchman's future at the club.
The financial impact of Covid-19 has hit the Spanish giants hard.
That and a huge stadium rebuild have left Real with mounting debt – and they have not paid a fee for a player for almost two years.
And as a result their LaLiga wage cap will be reduced from £403million to £255m next season, according to the Athletic.
That has seen Varane, Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale all have their futures thrown up in the air.
Madrid's 'primary objective' is now said to be trimming their bloated 35-man squad this summer.
The Red Devils are said to be close to agreeing personal terms with Varane, 28.
Real are reluctant to sell their French stalwart, but refuse to lose him for nothing when his contract expires next year.
United have been in negotiations for some time now with the defender and his representatives. And according to the MEN, an agreement is getting close.
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They also claim that Varane wants to head straight to Manchester after his summer holidays, rather than have to return to pre-season training in Madrid.
He is currently still on his summer break, having played for France at Euro 2020. His side were eliminated by Switzerland.
United's interest in Varane has been long standing – they were even contenders to sign him before he went to Madrid as a teenager in 2011.
The Red Devils were also keen to sign him in 2018, but couldn't get a deal done. Madrid were initially thought to want £80million this summer.
But due to his contract situation, they are resigned to losing him for a lot less. United are believed to be working on a package worth around £50m.
And they hope to get the deal concluded 'in the next few weeks'.
Varane could be United's second addition of the summer, after they finally agreed a deal with Dortmund for Jadon Sancho.
They have also been linked with the likes of Pau Torres, as well as Varane's compatriots Jules Kounde and Eduardo Camavinga.
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