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Andy Mitten feels ‘absolutely world-class’ player will leave Manchester United

Raphael Varane will probably leave Manchester United when his contract expires at the end of June, according to The Athletic journalist Andy Mitten.

The Frenchman joined the Red Devils from Real Madrid in 2021, but he has since made only 93 appearances amid regular injury concerns.

He is currently out of action with another setback, but manager Erik ten Hag has hinted that he could return before the FA Cup final against Manchester City this month.

However, United appear to be preparing for his departure. His current £340,000-a-week contract expires on June 30 and the club have not triggered an extension clause. Mitten feels Varane could depart.

He told The Athletic: “Varane will probably leave and I don’t think there’ll be many protests if he does.

“An absolutely world-class player – mainly for Real Madrid, only occasionally for Manchester United, but he still leaves a hole.

“We are so far from the days of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand when Gerard Pique couldn’t get a look in.”

Where could Varane move after United exit?

Varane has been one of United’s best-performing centre-backs, but his unreliable fitness has been a concern. United are now prepared to part ways with him.

The World Cup winner has been linked with a possible return to Madrid in the past, but Los Blancos are not a club who re-sign their former players.

Varane is unlikely to consider a move to Barcelona due to their fierce rivalry with Madrid. Atletico could also be ruled out for the same reason.

A switch to the Saudi Pro League could be a lucrative choice for Varane for a big payday. If he continued in Europe, he could consider returning to Lens where he started his career.

The 31-year-old has previously talked about retiring with the Ligue 1 outfit. Lens manager Franck Haise has also admitted that he would welcome Varane back with open arms.

However, a homecoming to Hauts-de-France will depend on Varane accepting an astronomical pay cut. Angelo Fulgini is the highest earner at Lens at only £30,000 per week.

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