Saudi Arabian football clubs, flush with significant financial clout, are preparing for an ambitious foray into the January transfer market, with several high-profile players in their crosshairs.
One notable target is Manchester United’s central defender, Raphael Varane. TEAMtalk have indicated a strong interest from the Saudi teams in capturing the French international when the window reopens.
Varane, now 30, is reportedly considering his options away from Manchester United, where he arrived two years prior from Spanish giants Real Madrid. The defender’s openness to a move has piqued the interest of various clubs, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr, although they are not alone in their pursuit from the Middle Eastern nation.
Manchester United’s tumultuous season has led to a sense of discontent in the locker room, prompting some players to contemplate departures. Varane’s representatives have been approached regarding a potential move away, with interest from clubs globally.
The financial might of the Saudi league is a significant factor, giving them the capability to propose a lucrative deal to Varane that might prove too tempting to refuse. However, he also remains on the radar of several top-tier European clubs participating in the Champions League.
Varane, who has appeared six times for United in the league this campaign, has faced challenges securing consistent playtime, hindered by injuries. There are also concerns over the club’s direction and overall atmosphere, factors that are significant for the World Cup-winning defender.
Insights from TEAMtalk suggest that the upcoming January window could see an exodus of first-team players from United as manager Erik ten Hag grapples with retaining his position. Dissatisfaction with ten Hag’s managerial choices is reportedly spreading among the squad.
Among those speculated to be on the move is Jadon Sancho, with a sentiment prevailing that those disillusioned with the club’s path under ten Hag are likely to depart soon.
With Varane commanding a weekly salary in excess of £300,000, the prospect of participating in another rebuild seems less appealing as he moves into the later phase of his career.
Furthermore, the unmet assurances given to Varane upon his signing, coupled with Manchester United’s declining competitive edge against frontrunners like Manchester City and Arsenal, have contributed to the situation.