Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane could be ready to quit Old Trafford to link up again with Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante at Al-Ittihad, but will not do so for at least another 12 months, it has been claimed.
Both Benzema and Kante have completed switches to the Saudi league this summer, as part of a massive overhaul of Saudi Arabian football that has also seen the likes of Neymar, Ruben Neves, Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez head to the middle east.
Al-Ittihad would like to make Varane the latest in their line of additions, but the defender is a key part of Erik ten Hag’s plans for the upcoming campaign.
However, the Frenchman has turned down the opportunity for now, and it is added that he wants ‘to compete in European football for at least one more season’.
Varane, who retired from international football following the 2022 World Cup final defeat to Argentina, has recently spoken out on the increasingly hectic schedules that footballers have thanks to a massive increase in the number of games available.
‘The schedule is overcrowded, and it’s at a dangerous level for players physical and mental well-being’, he tweeted at the beginning of August.
Out of contract at Old Trafford in two years, next summer could be the last chance for the Red Devils to raise a return on the man that they shelled out 40m euros to sign from Real Madrid in 2021.
Varane, meanwhile, could get his wish of less football, with Saudi Arabian sides not in the Champions League and therefore playing fewer games every week, in what could be a win-win situation for all parties.