A report from Spain indicates Real Madrid have turned down the opportunity to re-sign Raphael Varane after the Frenchman instructed his agent to try and facilitate a deal.
Ricardo Sanchez, a reporter for a sports outlet covering Los Blancos (Defensa Central), reveals the Manchester United defender is open to “returning to Santiago Bernabéu stadium” following a disappointing season at Old Trafford.
Varane swapped Madrid for Manchester in the summer of 2021. The deal cost in the region of £41 million – a price which had seemed a great price at the time for one of Europe’s premier defenders.
Injuries and instability at his new club hampered Varane’s debut season in England, however.
Things improved in his sophomore year with the arrival of Erik ten Hag. The Frenchman quickly formed a strong partnership with Lisandro Martinez at the heart of United’s defence.
The Dutchman described the pairing as fitting “really well together” in September last season. Ten Hag was also particularly complimentary to Varane’s leadership qualities at this stage of their relationship, detailing how the centre-back “puts everyone in the right position” around him.
United finished the season in third place, winning the Carabao Cup and reaching the FA Cup final in the process. A large part of this success stemmed from the solidity provided by Varane and Martinez.
This year constitutes a different story, however.
Varane has struggled with form and injuries, losing his place in Ten Hag’s first-choice defence. Harry Maguire has re-emerged as the Dutchman’s favoured option at right centre-back, after having almost departed Old Trafford in the summer.
Instead, it may be Varane who leaves the club this summer, after it was announced United would not be exercising the automatic one-year extension in the Frenchman’s contract.
They are continuing to negotiate with his representatives over a new deal- likely to be with reduced wages – but, at present, Varane will become a free agent in the summer.
The 31-year-old is thought to be displeased at falling down the pecking order this season, as well as disappointed the club chose not to extend his current contract.
This may explain why Sanchez’s report reveals Varane instructed his agent to approach Real Madrid over a potential reunion.
Los Blancos are experiencing an injury crisis in defence with long-term injuries to David Alaba and Eder Militao. As such, a move for an experienced centre-back who knows the club – such as Varane – appeared a logical option.
Sanchez contends Madrid officials have rebuffed the French defender’s efforts, however. He reports the club are content to continue with the options in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad at present, and will not be signing anyone before the January transfer window closes tomorrow.
Varane looks set to stay at Old Trafford until the end of this season at least.