(CNN) -- Real Madrid have completed the signing of highly-rated young defender Raphael Varane from French side Lens for a fee in the region of $14 million.
Varane played 23 matches for Lens last season, and despite the club being relegated from Ligue 1, he impressed with his displays.
The 18-year-old, who was also attracting the attention of England champions Manchester United, has signed a six-year deal with the Spanish giants.
Lens president Gervais Martel told reporters that Varane would have left the club, regardless of whether they escaped relegation.
"Even if Lens had stayed in Ligue 1, Raphael Varane would have left because he is a phenomenon," said Martel.
"He is going to play for Real Madrid under the leadership of Jose Mourinho who he has already met, and he has also met club advisor Zinedine Zidane.
"Raphael is an exceptional boy. I am proud that he is going to don the Real colors -- he has been pursued by Real for the past two months."
In other transfer news, France international winger Dimitri Payet completed his $14m transfer from St Etienne to Lille on Tuesday,
The 24-year-old, who scored 13 goals for St Etienne last season, has signed a four-year deal with the French champions.
Meanwhile, in England, Premier League side Sunderland look set to spend some of the money they received from Liverpool for England midfielder Jordan Henderson, agreeing a combined fee of $24 million with Championship sides Ipswich and Birmingham for striker Connor Wickham and midfielder Craig Gardner.