Chelsea have reportedly made an eleventh-hour attempt to snare away Real Madrid superstar Raphael Varane from under the noses of rivals Manchester United.

According to a report from Spanish publication MARCA, Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane is a subject of late transfer interest from UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea even as he is believed to be close to joining Manchester United.

Varane has grown into one of the best modern-day centre-backs during his ten-year-long stint at Real Madrid. Having joined from Lens in 2011, the 28-year-old has won everything there is to be won at club level with Los Blancos and has even lifted the FIFA World Cup in 2018 with France.

One of the most successful defenders in the game, Varane has entered the final year of his contract with Real Madrid and has his heart set on a new challenge. This has led to serious interest in his services from across Europe, although it seems like Manchester United are leading the race to sign the Frenchman.

Indeed, it has been claimed that Varane has already reached an agreement over personal terms over a five-year deal with the 20-time English champions, who are looking for a long-term reliable partner for club captain Harry Maguire. Talks with Real Madrid are said to be in advanced stages as well, as per reports in Spain.

What next for Raphael Varane? (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

What next for Raphael Varane? (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

However, there has been a late entry into the picture as Chelsea have registered their interest in the eleventh-hour, trying to swoop Varane away from under the noses of Manchester United. The Blues are in the market for defensive reinforcements, having sold Fikayo Tomori permanently to AC Milan, while Kurt Zouma is expected to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge as well.

With both Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta well into their thirties, it would only be sensible on manager Thomas Tuchel’s part to add another top-class centre-back to take the load off the duo and eventually replace them in the side, making Varane very much a viable target. While Chelsea had been credited with an interest in the Frenchman earlier, they seem to have left it pretty late to make an attempt to land him.

Apart from Chelsea and Manchester United, there is also an interest from Paris Saint-Germain, who recently signed his long-term defensive partner and Real Madrid icon Sergio Ramos. Nonetheless, as things stand, despite Chelsea’s late entry, Varane seems set on his path to the M16 this summer, with a move to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United seemingly close.

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