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Dhaka Tribune

Varane announces Man Utd exit at end of season

Varane arrived at United from Real Madrid in 2021 for an initial fee of about £34m ($43m) and has made 93 appearances, scoring twice

Update : 16 May 2024, 12:12 AM

Raphael Varane announced Tuesday he will leave Manchester United at the end of the season when his contract expires following a three-year spell at Old Trafford.

The former France defender, 31, arrived at United from Real Madrid in 2021 for an initial fee of about £34m ($43m) and has made 93 appearances, scoring twice.

He was part of the team that won the club's first trophy for six years - the 2023 League Cup.

But United have endured a nightmare season, languishing in eighth place in the Premier League with 14 defeats and unlikely to qualify for Europe.

Varane, whose United career has been disrupted by injuries, has not played since a 4-3 defeat to Chelsea on April 4 but hopes to be available again before the end of the campaign.

"To you guys, supporters of United it's been an amazing few years to play for this special club and wear that shirt," Varane said on social media.

"The first time I went to Old Trafford as a United player was insane, the atmosphere was amazing.

"I fell in love with the club, with the fans. You have to play for United to understand what that represents."

The 2018 World Cup winner added: "Despite the fact we had a difficult season, I'm very positive for the future. The new owners (United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe) are coming with a clear plan and a great strategy."

United manager Erik ten Hag is hopeful Varane can go out by playing a part in winning another trophy in the FA Cup final later this month.

Newcastle United visit Old Trafford Wednesday before United travel to Brighton and Hove Albion on the final day of the Premier League season Sunday.

"We plan [for] him," said Ten Hag Tuesday.

"Definitely for the last games. Not tomorrow (Wednesday) but we hope for Sunday and then, of course, for the last game (the FA Cup final)."

United issued a statement saying Varane had confirmed his exit, saying he had brought a "great deal of class and experience to the team".

"It is unflappable work at the heart of the defence that Rapha is most recognized for, as he has shown his undoubted quality since joining the club," the club added.

Varane is one of the most decorated defenders of his generation, winning four Champions Leagues and three LaLiga titles during a 10-year spell at Real.

He was also central to France's 2018 World Cup win and a run to the 2022 World Cup final.

However, he retired from international football at just 29, citing the extreme physical and mental pressures put upon top players.

"The very highest level is like a washing machine, you play all the time and you never stop," he told French TV station Canal+.

"We have overloaded schedules and play non-stop. Right now, I feel like I'm suffocating and that the player is gobbling up the man."

Varane has also spoken out about concerns regarding the impact concussions suffered by players could have in later life.

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