United are expected to spend big again this summer and, despite Real’s insistence that neither Varane nor Bale are for sale, they have tested the water with an offer for the pair, according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
Real are, unsurprisingly, said to have instantly dismissed the advances, but the Spanish side’s interest in David de Gea could yet work in United’s favour.
De Gea is widely expected to move to the Bernabeu this summer, with the Daily Star quoting a source as saying the goalkeeper has already said his goodbyes to team-mates at Old Trafford.
“David has loved his time at United and wouldn’t even consider leaving if it wasn’t for the fact it’s Real Madrid that want to sign him,” the source said.
“He knows he can achieve so much more at Real and Madrid is where he’s from. All his friends and family are there.”
Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris is believed to be Louis van Gaal’s top target to replace De Gea, with Stoke’s Asmir Begovic and Chelsea’s Petr Cech the Dutchman’s back-up targets.
United, meanwhile, are also said to be competing with Chelsea to sign Atletico Madrid centre-back Joao Miranda, 30, who is out of contract in 12 months’ time and may be allowed to leave the Vicente Calderón Stadium this summer, although Los Rojiblancos would prefer to sell Toby Alderweireld.