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Manchester United were reportedly the only team Raphael Varane was interested in joining from Real Madrid – because he grew up as a supporter of the Red Devils and idolised Rio Ferdinand.

After a lengthy pursuit of the French centre-back it was announced on Tuesday evening that United have reached an agreement with Los Blancos over a deal to sign the player.

And the 28-year-old is likely to be unveiled next week subject to passing a medical and personal terms being agreed.

The signing is a hugely important one for United, who will no doubt be delighted with the addition of a World Cup and multiple-Champions League winning player to partner Harry Maguire in defence.

Raphael Varane's move from Real Madrid to Manchester United will soon be made official

Madrid were desperate to keep Varane, and made numerous contract offers in order to try to tempt him to extend his stay at the Bernabeu.

But according to the Manchester Evening News once United's interest became apparent Varane only had eyes for Old Trafford, and will clearly be delighted to make the move to the Premier League.

The publication claim that Varane has always followed United as a fan, and looked up to their legendary six-time Premier League winner Ferdinand as a youngster.

Announcing Varane's imminent departure, Madrid released a statement which read: "Real Madrid wants to show all its love to Raphael Varane and his family, we wish him good luck for the next step of his professional career.

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"We are thankful for his professionalism and the exemplary behaviour he has shown for the ten years he has worn our shirt, in which time he has won 18 titles: four Champions Leagues, four Club World Cups, three European Super Cups, three La Ligas, one Copa del Rey and three Spanish Super Cups."

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer happy to land his top target, there are a number of shirt numbers available to Varane at United.

At Madrid, Varane donned the No. 5 kit but there is little chance he will prise that off club captain Maguire.

Instead, it is more likely that the No. 4 will be taken off Phil Jones and handed to the Frenchman – while he hopes he has better fortune than the former Blackburn Rovers star.

That is the same number of wears for France and is the most likely to be his at United.