Man Utd man ‘disillusioned’ by Erik ten Hag lined up for ‘£50m Cristiano Ronaldo reunion’ | Football | Sport

Raphael Varane could be primed to reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo for a second time as Al-Nassr lead the race for his signature this summer, according to reports. The Frenchman looks increasingly likely to leave Manchester United on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract in June.

And a Saudi Arabia switch might be on the cards as Varane prepares for a potentially busy final few months at Old Trafford after Lisandro Martinez’s latest injury setback.

According to the Daily Star, Al-Nassr are currently in pole position to sign Varane on a Bosman at the end of the season, with a bumper deal being prepared.

It’s claimed that owner Prince Faisal bin Turki, boasting a net worth of almost £23billion, is keen to add Varane to his star-studded ranks as part of the Saudi Pro League revolution.

Among them is Ronaldo, who landed in the Middle East after a fallout with Erik ten Hag led to his explosive United exit in November 2022.

Al-Nassr are second in the Saudi Pro League, seven points behind leaders Al-Hilal, and also boast Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic, Anderson Talisca, Otavio, Aymeric Laporte, Alex Telles and David Ospina.

The report adds that the Knights of Najd are prepared to table Varane a mouth-watering deal worth up to £50m-a-year to leave Europe.

Varane was a crucial figure in Ten Hag’s maiden season as United manager, forming a formidable centre-back partnership with Lisandro Martinez.

But he has been directly impacted by Harry Maguire’s unexpected renaissance this term, while his unreliable fitness record has reared its ugly head again.

Varane has started just nine of United’s 23 Premier League games in 2023/24, and the French World Cup winner is said to have become disillusioned as a result.

He is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with other clubs after Ten Hag opted against triggering a 12-month extension in his deal at Old Trafford.

United appear keen to offload the 30-year-old from their wage bill at the start of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS’ rebuild, which is expected to start with a blockbuster summer transfer window.

Varane has been United’s best-paid player since joining in a £34m deal from Real Madrid in 2021, earning £340,000-a-week.

Despite his frustrating injury proneness, he is a four-time Champions League winner on top of his 2018 World Cup success and one of football’s biggest defensive names.

He is, therefore, an attractive option as Saudi Arabia continue to attempt to make their mark. Ronaldo would undoubtedly welcome a second reunion with his long-time team-mate.

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