Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Real Madrid make final decision on re-signing Man Utd star who’d be willing to return to Bernabeu

Man Utd stars Raphael Varane and Casemiro

Man Utd pair Raphael Varane and Casemiro

Real Madrid have ruled out the idea of bringing Manchester United defender Raphael Varane back for a second spell at the club, according to reports, partially due to their conviction about another player’s return.

2024 looks likely to be the year in which Varane will leave Man Utd – and due to a lack of regular starts, there were even some suggestions that his exit could take place in the January transfer window.

By February 1, though, Varane remains a Man Utd player as the cut-off point for winter deals approaches.

It seems there may have been a last-ditch attempt to place him elsewhere after rumours of a return to Real Madrid – the club Man Utd bought him from in 2021 – resurfaced.

According to reports in Spain, Real Madrid have made it known to Varane’s representatives that they will not be taking him back, despite his fondness for the destination.

The Frenchman would have been open to embarking on a second spell in the Spanish capital, but his former employers will deny him that chance.

After all, it is believed that Eder Militao will return from injury soon enough for Los Blancos not to worry too much about a reinforcement near the deadline.

Madrid, who will go top of LaLiga over Girona if they win their game in hand, seem willing to take the risks associated with easing him back in rather than signing immediate cover.

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Where next for Raphael Varane?

It means Varane will have to look elsewhere for his next step away from Man Utd, but where could he go?

There were some whispers of interest from Bayern Munich earlier in January, but a more likely route for Varane would now seem to be in Saudi Arabia.

That said, the Saudi Pro League has already passed its transfer deadline, so suitors like Al-Nassr and Al-Ittihad would have to wait until the summer to take Varane.

By then, he might be available on a free transfer, since there has been some confusion about his contract situation.

Originally, Varane was thought to be under contract until 2025, but it was recently claimed that he actually signed a deal until 2024 with an option into 2025, which Man Utd are now looking less likely to activate.

It means his third season with Man Utd could be his last, during which he has so far made 19 appearances, including 12 (of which eight were starts) in the Premier League.

In total, he has played 82 times for Man Utd, scoring twice. For Real Madrid, his records were 360 appearances and 17 goals.

Before that, Varane began his career with Lens, making 24 appearances and scoring two goals.

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