Former boss Sir Alex Ferguson originally pursued a deal for the player before his move to Madrid, and Jose Mourinho was also keen to add the defender to his squad during his time at Old Trafford.

It is understood the clubs have agreed on an initial fee of £34m, which could rise to £42m, and that Varane, 28, has agreed on terms on a four-year contract with the option for another 12 months. Varane, a World Cup winner with France, has made 360 appearances for Real.

“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,” the club said in a statement.

“Our club thanks you for your professionalism and exemplary behaviour during the 10 seasons in which you defended our shirt.”

Varane, who has 79 caps, will become Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s third signing in this transfer window – following the re-signing of goalkeeper Tom Heaton and the £73m arrival of England winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

Former boss Sir Alex Ferguson originally pursued a deal for the player before his move to Madrid, and Jose Mourinho was also keen to add the defender to his squad during his time at Old Trafford.

Varane’s journey to Old Trafford

After coming through Lens’ academy, Varane broke into the first team at the age of 17, and while he was unable to steer them away from relegation, his performances attracted the attention of some of Europe’s top clubs.

Despite strong interest from United, Real signed the teenager on a six-year contract in 2011, and he went on to make 15 appearances in all competitions during his first season in Spain as Mourinho’s side regained the title.

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That was the start of Varane’s impressive trophy haul during his decade in the Spanish capital.

He helped Carlo Ancelotti’s side clinch their 10th European title – ‘La Decima’ – in the 2013-14 season, making seven appearances and partnering Sergio Ramos in the final as they beat Atletico Madrid 4-1 after extra time in Lisbon.

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