Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Game over for Man Utd superstar who’ll be ousted ‘regardless of what happens’ this season; likely next club named

Man Utd stars Bruno Fernandes and Raphael Varane

Why Manchester United plan to part ways with Raphael Varane in the summer irrespective of how he performs in the remainder of the season has been revealed, and who he’s likely to join has also emerged.

Varane, 30, cost £41m when plucked from Real Madrid in the summer of 2021. The French centre-half arrived as a World Cup winner, a four-time Champions League winner and at a time when he was widely regarded as among the most dominant defenders in world football.

Varane hasn’t been a total bust in England, though few would argue he’s lived up to his lofty reputation in a Man Utd shirt.

Indeed, Varane has spent large chunks of the current campaign down the pecking order. There was a two-month stretch between October and December in 2023 in which Varane didn’t start a single Premier League match for Man Utd despite being available for selection.

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Varane pockets a reported £340,000-a-week at Old Trafford and United opted against activating the one-year extension in his contract. As such, Varane is due to become a free agent at season’s end.

Man Utd’s reluctance to extend Varane’s deal was down to the fact taking up the option would mean Varane stays on his sky high salary. Try as he might, Varane has not justified earning such a lofty pay packet in Manchester.

There had been speculation Man Utd would attempt to negotiate a new deal on vastly reduced terms with Varane.

That was the approach United took with David de Gea this time last year, though the end result there saw De Gea walk away as a free agent.

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Now, according to a fresh update from Football Insider, Varane’s time at Old Trafford will conclude at season’s end – regardless of how the rest of the campaign shakes out.

FI declare Varane ‘will depart’ when the season ends. The player performing well or United qualifying for the Champions League reportedly won’t change that decision.

Why time’s up for Varane; where he’ll go next

Explaining the call, FI note it is financially motivated, with Man Utd intent on making a huge saving by ridding their books of Varane’s mammoth salary.

On the subject of where he’ll go next, the report touts a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo at Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Nassr.

Jonny Evans is also out of contract at season’s end, while doubts persist over the long-term futures of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

The centre-back position may well be one area that experiences major change in Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s first transfer window at the helm.

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