Donny van de Beek might be key in Manchester United’s pursuit of Raphael Varane.
Real are also interested in bringing Van de Beek, 24, to the Bernabeu on a one-year loan with a 12-month option to buy according to The Sun.
Real Madrid has initiated preliminary conversations with United about signing the French center-back, which is expected to cost approximately £50 million.
United believes this provides them a powerful bargaining chip in their pursuit of Varane, who is at the top of their center-back wish list.
Varane, who is under contract for another season, can sign a pre-contract agreement in January.
As a result, United are more likely to pass on Van de Beek if it means they can sign Varane, who is also wanted by Paris Saint-Germain.
Last summer, the Red Devils beat Real to sign the Dutch midfielder for £35 million from Ajax.
Madrid had reached an agreement on personal conditions but had to call it off after failing to sell some of their current midfielders.
They have, however, maintained contact with Van de Beek’s advisers since his relocation to Old Trafford turned into a nightmare.