Man Utd at risk of losing Raphael Varane on free transfer after ‘contract gaffe’

Man Utd at risk of losing Raphael Varane on free transfer after ‘contract gaffe'

Manchester United are at risk of losing Raphael Varane on a free transfer next year after the emergence of inaccurate details about his contract, according to reports. Varane is increasingly expected to depart in the next two transfer windows, but United face missing out on a fee.

The 30-year-old has been the subject of speculation ahead of January after falling out of favour under Erik ten Hag, who has preferred Harry Maguire this season.

United were widely expected to cash in on his services next year to help fund further incomings, with the Champions League group-stage exit set to deal a financial blow to go with ongoing Financial Fair Play restrictions.

However, The Athletic report that Varane’s contract at Old Trafford expires in 2024 rather than 2025.

When the French defender joined from Real Madrid in 2021, United announced that his deal ran until June 2025, with the option of a further year.

That is reportedly not the case, though. Varane will be out of contract next summer if the Red Devils don’t trigger a one-year extension.

It means Varane is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January if that extension isn’t activated.

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United could look to offload the World Cup winner next month to ensure they generate a transfer fee after splashing £34million two years ago.

But even if they fail to find a buyer in New Year, the Old Trafford giants may opt to allow him to leave on a free transfer to save around £13m from his annual salary.

United bucked a trend of triggering players’ one-year extensions by releasing David de Gea in the summer and are expected to give Anthony Martial the same treatment at the end of the season.

They kept stars like Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba within their ranks for a further 12 months after activating the clause but did the same to Fred earlier this year with the intention of cashing in.