Raphael Varane Real Madrid
Varane has got limited first team opportunities under Carlo Ancelotti at Real MadridReuters

Manchester United have been boosted in their attempts to sign Raphael Varane following reports of the Real Madrid defender being unhappy at the Bernebeu due to his limited first team football under Carlo Ancelotti.

Although the 21-year-old is considered to be one of the best upcoming defenders in the world, he has failed to break into the first team, with manager Ancelotti preferring the partnership of Sergio Ramos and Pepe in the heart of Real Madrid's defence.

Due to this reason, the French centre-back has started in only four La Liga games this season.

And the Daily Star now claims that Varane is looking to make a move out of Bernabeu, with Manchester United keen on getting his signature in January.

The Red Devils are in desperate need of new defenders, with the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones,Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo all facing some time on the sidelines this season.

Although United have been playing well of late, they still lacking in defensive solidarity, and due to this reason Manchester United boss van Gaal is keen to bring in a new defender in the winter transfer window.

Despite being linked to a number of centre-backs including Mats Hummels, Diego Godin, Miranda, Gerard Pique and Ron Vlaar, it is believed that van Gaal is more interested in Varane due to the Frenchman being considered as a future star.

However, Varane, who completed a €10 million switch from Ligue 1 side Lens in the summer of 2011, will certainly not come at a cheap rate, with there being reports of Real Madrid valuing the defender around £40m.

However, the Red Devils will be facing some completion for the defender's signature as Chelsea are also believed to be interested in Varane.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who was the one to bring Varane to Real Madrid in 2011, is reportedly still a big fan of the Frenchman, whom he considers as one of the best in the business.

It is believed that the Portuguese is eyeing the French defender as a replacement for Chelsea captain John Terry, who is expected to leave Stamford Bridge after the expiration of his contract this summer.

Although the West London club do have Kurt Zouma to replace Terry, Mourinho reportedly feels that the youngster is still not ready for the first team action, with there being suggestions of Chelsea wanting to loan out the defender in January.