Manchester United are in the market for a new centre-back this summer, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking to bring in a new partner for club captain Harry Maguire.
The Red Devils have been linked with a whole host of potential recruits, including Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane.
According to a report from the Manchester Evening News, United have made an initial £50m bid for the France international.
However, Madrid are said to be holding out for a fee of around £80m.
The report states that United are ‘reluctant’ to meet that asking price and they remain in talks with the La Liga side in the hope of reaching ‘a compromise over the fee’.
One way United could reach that compromise is by offering Madrid some of their players in a swap deal.
Madrid have been hit hard financially by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with Spanish outlet Diario Sport outlining back in January that the club’s gross total debt figure was €901m (£771m).
Their net debt also sits at around €355m (£303m) and club president Florentino Perez has already warned that there will be no big money signings this summer, telling El Larguero: “In general, there will not be big transfers this summer.
“If we don’t sign Mbappe this summer, I don’t think any fan will shoot himself in the head. They know we’re doing our best, and if things don’t happen, it’s because they’re impossible.”
As a result, Madrid may well be open to accepting a player-plus-cash deal for Varane and Express Sport has taken a look at two players United could include.