A report claims that the relationship between head coach Erik ten Hag and Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has completely collapsed.
In front of David de Gea, the former Real Madrid and France center-back had a close relationship with Lisandro Martinez, which was a key factor in the Red Devils’ 2022–2023 victory.
Varane finished the season with an EFL Cup winners’ medal and helped Man United finish in third place in the Premier League, where they kept a league-high 17 clean sheets.
The 30-year-old started the 2023–24 season off strong, winning the opening round of Premier League games 1-0 against Wolverhampton Wanderers with the solitary goal, but he has quickly lost favor.
Varane has only started one of the Red Devils’ last seven Premier League games since recovering from a minor injury. He was also left off of the starting lineup for their 4-3 Champions League loss to Copenhagen, despite the fact that he replaced the injured Jonny Evans in the first half of that match.
Across Man United’s last four league affairs with Sheffield United, Manchester City, Luton Town and Fulham, Varane has totalled a paltry 18 minutes, as Evans, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have all been preferred at the back.
Ten Hag’s debatable selection decisions paid dividends against Fulham and Luton, where Man United kept two clean sheets in a pair of 1-0 wins, beating the Hatters thanks to a solitary Lindelof goal.
Maguire has also enjoyed an unexpected redemption arc in the heart of the Red Devils’ backline, and Varane will likely start on the bench when Man United meet Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.
It was previously reported that Varane was accepting Ten Hag’s decision to demote him to the substitutes’ bench, but according to the Daily Mail, the Frenchman is unhappy with his situation at Old Trafford.
Varane was overlooked entirely for Man United’s 3-0 loss to Man City on October 29, and Ten Hag apparently had a “frank” exchange of views with the defender, leading to their relationship effectively becoming damaged beyond repair.
German champions Bayern Munich are also said to be interested in a £25m deal during the January transfer window, but the report adds that Varane’s £340,000-a-week wages could hinder a transfer to Bavaria.
Man United shelled out £34.8m to bring Varane to the club from Real Madrid in 2021, and the former Lens youngster boasts two goals and one assist in 75 matches for the 20-time English champions in all tournaments.
Varane is not the only player to fall out with Ten Hag this season, as Jadon Sancho has spent almost three months outside of the first-team picture for publicly hitting out at the Man United coach over his omission from the squad to face Arsenal in September.
The Red Devils sit sixth in the Premier League table ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Everton, five points off the Champions League places and seven adrift of leaders Manchester City.