Bayern Munich are considering making a €20m (£17m) offer for Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane, a new report has claimed.
The Frenchman’s contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the season – and not in 2025 as initially thought – and 90min understands that United are yet to decide whether or not to activate their option to extend by a further 12 months.
Varane’s future has been called into question after the World Cup winner’s slide down Manchester United’s defensive pecking order. Despite all of his experience, the 30-year-old’s game time has been marginalised by Erik ten Hag in recent weeks, with Harry Maguire reclaiming a regular role in the centre of defence.
Veteran Jonny Evans has also been preferred to Varane at times, though the Frenchman was back to his impressive best during United‘s recent 0-0 draw with Liverpool – a performance that reminded many of the qualities that the former Real Madrid defender possesses.
Madrid have been linked with a Varane reunion – they have lost Eder Militao and David Alaba among others to long-term injury – but Bayern Munich have also emerged as contenders, should United opt against blocking a transfer.
Bayern are also in the midst of their own crisis, with Kim Min-jae set to head off for Asian Cup duty at the same time that versatile defender Noussair Mazraoui heads to the Africa Cup of Nations to play for Morocco, and Spanish publication SPORT suggest that the Bundesliga giants are prepared to offer €20m to get a deal done.
90min understands that Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo is another option being considered by Bayern, who let Benjamin Pavard go in the summer but are yet to replace him, but any move for the Uruguayan would come at a significantly higher price and is unlikely to be discussed until the summer at the earliest.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel has publicly bemoaned the size of his squad at various stages of the 2023/24 season – a frustration that has been heightened by Bayer Leverkusen’s electrifying start to the season.
The Spaniard’s side currently top the Bundesliga table, are unbeaten in the 16 games they’ve played, and are four points clear – momentum they hope will prevent Bayern from winning a 12th consecutive title.
Varane’s current focus, meanwhile, is helping United get things back on track after an alarming slump in recent weeks. The Boxing Day win over Aston Villa has offered hope, but will mean little unless they can pick up three points away at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
What we know
- Raphael Varane’s long-term future at Manchester United uncertain
- French defender’s contract at Old Trafford expires in the summer
- United have option to extend deal by 12 months.