Reports indicate a growing strain in the relationship between Manchester United‘s Raphael Varane and manager Erik ten Hag, fueling speculation about the defender’s potential departure from Old Trafford.
The 30-year-old made a high-profile move from Real Madrid to Manchester United in August 2021 for approximately £41 million. Initially pivotal in Ten Hag’s inaugural season, playing alongside former teammate Casemiro, Varane amassed 34 appearances across all competitions in the 2022/23 campaign.
However, a recent spell on the sidelines at the start of this season has led to a notable downturn in his involvement.
Erik ten Hag publicly addressed the defensive hierarchy at United, attributing Harry Maguire’s resurgence to seizing opportunities when Varane was absent due to injury. “There is internal competition, which is normal in big clubs,” Ten Hag stated in an interview with beIN Sports, emphasizing the need for players to seize their chances.
Following this interview, fresh reports emerged suggesting a breakdown in Varane’s relationship with Ten Hag, with the Daily Mail reporting a ‘frank exchange of views’ between them after Raphael Varane was excluded from United’s clash against Manchester City on October 29.
Since then, Varane has seen limited playing time, expressing dissatisfaction with being overlooked in favor of Jonny Evans and Victor Lindelof in recent fixtures.
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Lindelof partnered Maguire in a 1-0 win over Luton on November 11, further complicating Varane’s situation. Amidst this uncertainty, Raphael Varane has been linked with a potential move away from Old Trafford, with Bayern Munich reportedly expressing interest.
However, his substantial weekly wages of £340,000 could pose a challenge for the Bundesliga champions.
Moreover, Varane’s former Real Madrid colleague Casemiro might also be facing an uncertain future at United, especially with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s impending takeover.
Ratcliffe is set to acquire a 25 percent stake in the club from the Glazer family for £1.3 billion and is anticipated to make significant decisions in the coming months, including potentially reshaping the squad, which might impact players like Varane and Casemiro due to their hefty contracts from their time at Madrid.