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Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag is at it again as two stars get David de Gea transfer treatment | Football | Sport

Erik ten Hag has claimed that Manchester United are in discussions with Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial over new contracts beyond this summer. However, you wouldn’t have to go back too far to find proof that Ten Hag doesn’t tend to relay the whole story about players’ futures in interviews and press conferences.

United are expected to undergo significant change in the coming months and throughout the summer transfer window once Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s ¬£1.3billion deal for a 25 per cent stake is ratified.

Ratcliffe and INEOS’ arrival raises the prospect of a ruthless shake-up on and off the pitch at Old Trafford, with several futures up in the air.

“We triggered the options on Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Hannibal,” Ten Hag confirmed in Thursday’s press conference.

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof and Hannibal’s contracts were set to expire on July 1 before United activated their 12-month extension clauses.

The same can’t be said for Varane and Martial, whose clauses the Red Devils opted against triggering, leaving them free to negotiate pre-contract agreements with overseas clubs this month.

Ten Hag has insisted that United remain in talks with the duo over potential new deals amid increased uncertainty about their futures.

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He added: “And we are talking with Raphael Varane and with Anthony Martial. I think that is an internal discussion between the club and the players.”

Martial is expected to leave on a free transfer this summer, having only scored 18 goals in three-and-a-half years.

Meanwhile, United have reportedly grown tired of Varane’s injury-proneness and want to chop his ¬£375,000-a-week salary to reflect on his importance.

Varane has been absent for 38 of a possible 138 since completing a £34m move from Real Madrid in the summer of 2021.

He must agree to a wage cut if he’s to remain at Old Trafford next season… sound familiar?

Of course, it does. Only last year did De Gea end his 11-year United career after Ten Hag offered him the wage cut ultimatum as he eyed a new No 1.

Just a few months prior, the Dutchman said: “Yes [De Gea will stay], but I will not say he’ll always be my No 1 because, in a club like Man United, there must be competition in all positions.”

It’s unlikely Ten Hag would publically come out in January and confirm that Varane and Martial were set to leave at the end of the season. He didn’t do that with De Gea.

But the French pair will likely suffer the same fate unless they do what the experienced goalkeeper didn’t – shake on fresh terms more aligned with United’s plans under new football operations.

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