Manchester United are on a bargaining mission over defensive target Raphael Varane.
It’s looking increasingly likely that, one way or another, Varane will end up at Old Trafford ahead of the coming season.
Reports from Marca suggest Real Madrid have accepted that the centre-back wants to experience the Premier League and that a deal is likely.
But the Spanish outlet also report that United are going to play the long game over Varane as they look to reduce the amount they will have to pay.
According to AS, United and Real Madrid are still around €20million apart in their valuation of Varane, and that leaves the deal uncomplete.
But the Marca report claims United are going to use a new negotiating tactic to land Varane on the cheap.
The Premier League club know that Real Madrid will have to sell Varane this summer if they want to avoid losing him for free, particularly given Varane wants a Premier League move and has ignored a contract offer throughout this summer.
And with no other club seriously interested at this point, United are reportedly planning to run the clock down and allow Real Madrid to face the reality of potentially having to keep the defender only to lose him for free next summer.
The Reds are hoping that will be enough to bring Real Madrid’s asking price closer to theirs, but, of course, Los Blancos could well have a trick or two of their own up their sleeve with experienced negotiator Florentino Perez at the helm.
And it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see other clubs linked with a move for Varane as Real Madrid look to crank up United’s anxiety over the deal.