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Al-Nassr ready to dole out £50m-a-year contract to Varane

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Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has reportedly been targeted as Al-Nassr’s next big-money signing, given his struggles at Old Trafford.

Varane has been in and out of the United side this season under Erik ten Hag, and only started as a substitute in their 3-0 win over West Ham United on Sunday.

After conceding three goals in their topsy-turvy encounter with Wolverhampton Wanderers in midweek, and a further two away to League Two Newport County, Ten Hag reinstated Harry Maguire to the starting XI in place of Varane at the weekend after his return from injury.

Despite six straight starts from Boxing Day onwards, Varane has never nailed down a regular spot in the Red Devils’ defence since joining from Real Madrid in 2021.

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A recent injury to Lisandro Martinez may see the 30-year-old return to the fold, but Victor Lindelof’s return from injury puts this in some doubt.

United also recently rejected the opportunity to activate an optional 12-month extension on Varane’s contract, heightening the probability that he will leave in the summer.

The Daily Star claim that Varane is now free to talk to other clubs, with United keen to get his £340,000-per-week wages off the bill.

The report states that Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr are willing to almost triple his wages though, by offering a lucrative £50m-a-year contract to the Frenchman to add another world-famous name to the roster of players in the country.

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A move would see Varane link up with former Real Madrid and Man United team mate Cristiano Ronaldo, who was the first huge name to move to the Gulf state just over a year ago.

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Ronaldo also left Old Trafford under a cloud after a falling out with manager Ten Hag, and Varane could follow suit in similar circumstances.

The Portuguese superstar had already departed by the time Varane was involved in Man United’s EFL Cup success last season, but the two won multiple honours together at the Bernabeu over the course of the 2010s.

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A move for Varane would also be one of the most high-profile moves the league has managed to pull off, alongside those for Karim Benzema, Neymar, Sadio Mane and N’Golo Kante

Al-Nassr themselves have built up a large repertoire of big names, with the likes of Aymeric Laporte, Marcelo Brozovic, Alex Telles, Anderson Talisca and Otavio joining Mane and Ronaldo at the club over the past few months.

Some have not adjusted to the lifestyle and the football in Saudi Arabia though, as Jordan Henderson left after just six months, and rumours suggest Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is also seeking a return to European football.

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