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Man Utd interested in signing Raphael Varane from Real Madrid

Real Madrid's Raphael Varane gestures during the Spanish league football match Sevilla FC vs Real Madrid CF at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, 15 January 2017

Manchester United are interested in signing Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, Sky sources understand.

Jose Mourinho was in charge at the Bernabeu when Varane moved to Real in 2011, coaching the defender for two seasons at the club, and he has identified the France international as a target for United in this window as he looks to strengthen his defensive options.

The 24-year old could claim his third Champions League winners' medal on Saturday if Real can overcome Juventus in the final in Cardiff and would also become the youngest defender to do so, eclipsing Paolo Maldini, who managed the feat at the age of 26.

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 02:  Head coach Jose Mourinho (R) and Real Madrid player Raphael Varane
Image: Jose Mourinho worked with Varane at Real Madrid

We understand Mourinho has highlighted three other defenders as possible targets alongside Varane - they are Virgil van Dijk at Southampton, Burnley's Michael Keane, and Victor Lindelof of Benfica.

As reported on Sky Sports News HQ earlier this week, we have been told Real have made a £60m bid for David de Gea - although Manchester United say they have received no formal offer.

As a result, a key part of any United offer for Varane could also involve a deal for the Spanish goalkeeper to head to Madrid as part of the package.

Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring for Real Madrid against Granada
Image: Mourinho is also interested in Alvaro Morata

SSN HQ also understands that Mourinho is interested in Varane's colleague at Real Madrid, Alvaro Morata, who he sees as a perfect candidate to lead the line for United next season as Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues his rehabilitation from knee surgery.

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However, reports in Spain on Friday suggest that Morata is close to agreeing a deal to move to AC Milan.

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