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Saudi Arabia club Al Ittihad want Raphael Varane

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane is reportedly being considered as one of Saudi Arabia’s potential high-profile signings this summer. The 30-year-old has responded to this interest after conversations with fellow French stars N’Golo Kante and Karim Benzema.

Varane played a pivotal role in United’s victorious start to the 2023/24 season, heading them to a 1-0 triumph against Wolves at Old Trafford.

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Under the guidance of Erik ten Hag, Varane is expected to continue playing a significant role after forming a formidable partnership with Lisandro Martinez in the previous season. Despite this, he is now attracting transfer interest from Saudi Arabia, an emerging destination for footballers approaching the latter stages of their careers.

As reported by Sports Zone, Saudi club Al Ittihad has shown a desire to secure Varane’s signature. UOL claims that he is on a shortlist alongside PSG’s Marquinhos.

Representatives from Al Ittihad have reportedly engaged in discussions with the World Cup winner’s representatives regarding a potential move. Notably, the club has inside agents in the form of Kante and Benzema.

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Their aim has been to persuade Varane to consider a move to the Middle East, following in the footsteps of Kante and Benzema, who recently switched from Chelsea and Real Madrid, respectively.

However, Varane has declined Al Ittihad’s advances due to his aspiration to continue competing in European football for at least another season.

As United’s No 19, he believes he still has much to contribute under Ten Hag’s leadership after retiring from international duty earlier this year.

Varane secured his first silverware at Old Trafford by winning the Carabao Cup in February. Moreover, the prospect of returning to Champions League football with the Red Devils serves as a compelling reason for him to remain with the club.

His contract extends until 2026, having signed a five-year deal worth £340,000 per week upon his £34 million move from Real Madrid in 2021.

During the summer transfer window, Ten Hag had expressed interest in acquiring a new centre-back. This came after United accepted a £30 million offer from West Ham United for former captain Harry Maguire.

Among the targets identified were Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard, OGC Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo, and Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba.

However, with Maguire declining the move to West Ham, Ten Hag emphasized the strength of his current options in Varane, Martinez, Maguire, and Victor Lindelof.

While Varane’s potential switch to Al Ittihad could rekindle United’s interest in Pavard, for now, he seems set to embark on his third season in Manchester, driven by his aspirations for domestic and European success.

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By RedManc

RedMancunian is the number one source for Manchester United news, insight and opinion on the most successful football club in the English top flight. RedMancunian was founded at the end of the 2011/2012 football season. We hope to provide insight on football matters related to Manchester United and provides a sense of what the club was and is all about. Follow RedMancunian on Twitter - @RedMancunian