Raphael Varane, Manchester United's experienced defender, has drawn attention to his club by reportedly expressing his desire to extend his contract, despite falling out of favor and facing a potential departure as a free agent.
According to the Manchester Evening News , Varane, who arrived from Real Madrid in 2021, is hoping to trigger a one-year extension clause on his original three-year contract, keeping him at Old Trafford until 2025. The desire of the French is surprising, given the limited playing time this season.
Varane was a shadow of his former self, appearing in just eight matches, the last being a goalless draw against Liverpool. This stark contrast to his initial prominence has fueled speculation that United will not trigger an extension clause, paving the way for a free transfer next summer.
However, World Cup and Champions League winner Varane appears determined to fight for his place in the Red Devils' future. His experience and defensive ability remain a valuable asset, especially given United's recent defensive struggles.
His recent performances, including the aforementioned display at Anfield, hint at a return to form, potentially influencing his desire to stay.
It is up to the club to decide the fate of Varane
But the decision still rests with United.
The club's management, led by Erik ten Hag, needs to carefully assess Varane's role in the team's long-term vision. While his experience and leadership are valuable, his injury history and inconsistent playing time are a concern.
Additionally, triggering an extension would mean a significant salary commitment for a player who is not guaranteed a starting spot. The next few months will be crucial in determining Varane's fate. With the January transfer window approaching, foreign clubs can now start negotiations with players whose contracts expire in six months.
In the end, the decision depends on whether ten Hag and the United hierarchy believe that Varane can be a vital cog in their rebuilding project given his age. His desire to stay is commendable, but it must be aligned with the club's vision for the future.