The French World Cup winner, 28, decided he wanted a new challenge after a trophy-laden decade in the Spanish capital, with United agreeing the deal with Madrid on Monday. The fee is expected to rise to £42m with add-ons.
“Manchester United is delighted to announce the club has reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of French international defender and World Cup winner, Raphaël Varane, subject to a medical and to player terms being finalised,” the club said in a short statement.
Madrid, who have already signed another world-class centre-back in David Alaba this summer, are hoping to raise funds through player sales and made a ‘solidarity payment’ to Varane’s previous clubs to ensure the transfer goes through.
After signing Jadon Sancho for £73m from Borussia Dortmund and extending manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s contract, the move for Varane is another statement of intent from United.
Solskjaer has been keen to find a new defensive partner for club captain Harry Maguire, while United also retain an interest in a right back to rival Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with Kieran Tripper long among their targets.
Varane joined Madrid from Lens in 2011 and won three La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies while in Spain. He has also made 79 caps for France and has long established himself as one of Europe’s best defenders.