When United signed Varane from Real Madrid in 2021, they announced he had a four-year contract until 2025 with the option of a further year.
In reality, he had signed a contract until 2024, with United possessing the option to extend by a year to 2025.
This is the second time in recent years that United have made an embarrassing communication error that was not noticed until close to the end of a player’s contract.
In 2020, United announced that Nemanja Matic had signed a new three-year contract, when it reality it was a two-year deal with the option of an extra year. Matic opted to leave in 2022 on a free transfer for Roma.
United could still decide to give Varane another year but his future remains very much in doubt. It has been reported that if they do extend by a year, he would have to agree a salary reduction.
United value Varane at €15-20m and are unlikely to stand in the way of him leaving this month if a decent offer comes in.
The World Cup winner has lost his place in the United first team and is not valued highly by manager Erik ten Hag.
He has fallen so far down the centre back order that Jonny Evans, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw have all been preferred to him recently, while Harry Maguire is well established ahead of him again.
Lisandro Martinez, currently injured, is Ten Hag’s untouchable when fit in the centre of defence.
The Daily Telegraph reported recently that there is a “strained relationship” between Varane and Ten Hag after the Dutchman dropped the centre back.
What did Ten Hag say?
Ten Hag rejected these reports of a fall-out: “Absolutely not. As I said, it is about tactical reasons why I chose these partnerships. I think Harry [Maguire] and Jonny [Evans] did well,” Ten Hag said.
“What I said last year, Harry [Maguire] didn’t play a lot, so I was very happy with Rapha [Varane]’s performances. I have always been happy with his performance. But in this moment, Harry is playing very well and there is internal competition.”
Ten Hag appeared to suggest that Varane and Maguire are not an ideal partnership.
“There are moments in certain games where they [Maguire and Varane] can play together and they have already proven they can do it,” he said.
“But the build-up is not that fluid when one of them is playing from the left centre-back position,” explained Ten Hag.
This would suggest that Ten Hag will generally pick either Maguire or Varane, and not both, although they did start together against Bayern in the Champions League.
Varane has interest from Saudi Arabia in the form of Al-Nassr where his former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo plays.
Varane joined Man Utd from Real Madrid in 2021 but has not impressed like he did during 10 brilliant years in Spain.