Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been told to end any plans to sell Casemiro and Raphael Varane during the January transfer window by a pundit describing the possibility as mind-blowing.
TEAMtalk revealed on Thursday that Man Utd are willing to sell Casemiro in January and could listen to offers in the region of £50m for the Brazilian midfielder.
Our sources have also explained that Varane is considering his future at the club after falling down the pecking order in defence.
The background theme is that Sir Jim Ratcliffe reportedly wants to bring an end to an era of investing in veteran players when he takes control of the footballing side of operations at Man Utd.
Indeed, former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore has claimed Ten Hag must keep the former Real Madrid pair if he wants to avoid further questions about his decision making.
“It absolutely blows my mind that Erik ten Hag might be considering selling two of his most decorated and experienced players during the January window,” Collymore told Caught Offside.
“That never happens. You don’t prepare for the second half of a season and say, ‘Right, these two players aren’t continuing’ – not when they’re Casemiro and Raphael Varane.
“If Ten Hag doesn’t see either of them as his first-choice defensive midfielder and centre-back, fine. But don’t sell them mid-season.
“That is career suicide because you just know that if he signs off both players’ departures in January and United goes on to finish the season poorly, the headlines will all be asking the same question: ‘Why did the manager get rid of two wise and experienced players?’
“You can just see it now, can’t you? It makes no sense.
“I think all this level of uncertainty and constant mind-changing shows is – because let’s not forget, it was only a couple of months ago that Harry Maguire was more or less frozen out and now he’s one of Ten Hag’s most nailed-on starters – a total lack of decisiveness.
“Ten Hag does not have a clue who or what his preferred 11 is.”
Ten Hag denies Varane fall out
Last season, some outsiders criticised Ten Hag for his treatment of another experienced star in the shape of Cristiano Ronaldo, who ultimately brought a premature end to his second spell at Man Utd.
Now, he could be under pressure again to prove he has the right stance when dealing with star personnel.
The manager has denied he has fallen out with Varane, saying on Friday: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.
“There is internal competition, when you have to decide on two players who are brilliant.
“Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane, you have to make a decision.”