Marseille are interested in signing Manchester United defender Raphael Varane
According to the French outlet Foot01 (h/t Manchester Evening News), Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille are interested in adding Manchester United star Raphael Varane to their roster to bolster their team’s defensive abilities.
Considered unfathomable just last summer, there is reason to believe that Varane could be open to leaving Old Trafford in the 2024 January transfer window. Erik ten Hag has had differences of opinion with seasoned players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho, and it would not surprise us if the Dutchman bit the bullet with Varane too.
The French international completed a £34 million move from Real Madrid to United in 2021. Last season, he developed a strong bond with Lisandro Martinez and appeared to finally put our search for a solid centre-back pairing to rest. Despite Ten Hag’s denials of any falling out with the French defender, he has consistently chosen to leave out the four-time Champions League winner from his recent matchday squads.
On the other hand, adapting to the French league should be easy for the veteran given the levels he has performed at in recent years. With Ten Hag slowly shifting his attention to Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, the 30-year-old has largely had to spend time on the bench.
Last season, Marseille and Manchester United reached an agreement to land Eric Bailly on loan. The agreement included a requirement to make a purchase, but unfortunately, the Ivorian player did not have enough game time to activate it.
However, Varane’s legacy will endure as one of the central defenders of his era and his absence might force us to look for a player of his capabilities which will be a tough job.
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However, it is yet to be determined whether Marseille will present a tempting offer that would force the Red Devils’ hand. It’s undeniable that the club will suffer a major setback with the departure of a player as talented as Varane. But then given that Ten Hag appears to be showing him little love, it could be the best foot forward for all parties.