Currently, there are no indications that Raphael Varane is planning to depart Manchester United. However, the French defender’s circumstances remain fluid, as reported by Fabrizio Romano.
Varane, who joined the Red Devils for approximately £34m from Real Madrid in 2021, has not had the smoothest tenure, largely due to injuries.
Despite being hailed as one of the world’s top defenders, Varane has recently seen a decrease in his time on the field.
In the 2022/23 season, despite initially being a preferred choice alongside Lisandro Martinez under Erik ten Hag, he has now been relegated to a lesser role. This shift in his position at the club has been underscored by the selection of Harry Maguire, Jonny Evans, and Victor Lindelof ahead of him.
It has been hinted by Romano that United’s top priority in 2024 is signing a centre-back.
Speculation around a strained relationship between Varane and Ten Hag has been circulating, raising possibilities of Varane’s exit in the upcoming January window or next summer.
Romano, shedding light on this matter, explained that Varane’s absence from the starting lineup is a tactical choice.
He stated, “As previously reported, the message on Raphael Varane remains very clear – it’s a tactical decision for him not to start games for Manchester United at the moment,” emphasizing Ten Hag’s current preference for Maguire’s play and mentality, alongside Evans.
However, Romano anticipates that Varane might see increased playtime soon, especially considering Evans’ injury. He added, “Still, with Evans now injured, I’m sure we’ll see Varane getting more playing time.”
Nevertheless, the situation could evolve if a significant offer is made in January, though no negotiations are currently underway.
Looking towards potential replacements for Varane, Romano has highlighted Edmond Tapsoba and Jean-Clair Todibo as possible candidates.
He remarked, “We know that in 2024 a top priority for United is a new centre-back, but whether it’ll be January or the summer will depend on opportunities.” Tapsoba and Todibo, both vital to their respective clubs, are unlikely to transfer mid-season, which could delay any significant defensive acquisitions by United until summer.