Premier League

Man Utd confirm summer exit of World Cup winner

Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane will leave Manchester United at the end of his contract, the club have confirmed

The 32-year-old joined the club from Real Madrid in 2021, and has made 93 appearances in all competitions during an injury-ravaged three-year spell.

United said in a statement: “Raphael Varane has confirmed he will leave Manchester United in the summer, upon the expiry of his contract, following three seasons at Old Trafford.

“The much-decorated defender arrived at the club from Real Madrid in August 2021, and was memorably unveiled in front of our home fans at the Theatre of Dreams, before the opening-weekend win over Leeds United.

“Varane has brought a great deal of class and experience to the team throughout his 93 appearances so far. The Frenchman also helped to win our first major trophy in six years, when lifting the 2023 Carabao Cup at Wembley Stadium. Newcastle United were shut out in a 2-0 triumph for Erik ten Hag’s men, with Rapha showing all of his experience alongside Lisandro Martinez.

Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane

Martinez and Varane formed a fine partnership / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

“The 31-year-old has scored twice for the Reds, his first goal coming in a home win over Brentford a couple of years ago. Varane’s second effort earned us three points from our 1-0 victory against Wolves, at the opening of this current 2023/24 campaign.

“However, it is unflappable work at the heart of the defence that Rapha is most recognised for, as he has shown his undoubted quality since joining the club.

“To date, he has made 67 appearances in the Premier League, 58 as a starter.

“The centre-back has been absent since the 4-3 defeat to Chelsea on 4 April but he is currently working hard on his recovery from injury, and hopes to be available again before the end of the campaign.

“There are Premier League matches to come against Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion, before the Emirates FA Cup final versus Manchester City on 25 May.

“Everybody at United thanks Rapha for his service and wishes him well for the future.”

Taking to social media, Varane said: “It’s been an amazing few years to play for this special club and wear that shirt.

“I fell in love with the club and the fans. You have to play for Man United to understand what that represents.

“Despite the fact we have had a difficult season, I am very positive for the future. The new owners are coming with a clear plan and a great strategy.”

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