Saudi Pro League clubs set to target Raphaël Varane in January – Man United News And Transfer News

A number of clubs in the Saudi Pro League are interested in signing Raphaël Varane from Manchester United in the January transfer window, according to a report by footballinsider247.

Peter O’Rourke (footballinsider247.com) reveals the “interest” from Saudi Arabia will be attached with a “jaw-dropping” salary offer to the centre-half, as the Pro League looks set to continue its aggressive expansion policy.

A wide range of top players, or, more accurately, big names, have relocated to Saudi Arabia over the past two seasons.

The country is seeking to establish its domestic league as one of the major competitions in the world, with the ability to match its European rivals. As such, Varane fits the mould of the player the Saudi Pro League is trying to lure to its shores.

O’Rourke confirms this, starting: “The vastly successful centre-back matches the profile that the ambitious and mega-rich league are looking to add to their ranks in the Middle East.”

The most noticeable first mover in this initial wave was Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford in a furore of controversy after publicly describing manager Erik ten Hag as someone he had “no respect” for.

The former Real Madrid star could be set to be now joined by Varane; a player who, if he makes the move, will have followed the exact same career pattern as Ronaldo; Real Madrid-Manchester United-Saudi Pro League.

This is not the first time there have been reports of Saudi interest in the centre-half.

Varane was linked with a move to the Pro League in August, though the feelings were any approach would be rebuffed by the 30-year old, who was reported to wish to remain regardless of any offer from Saudi Arabia.

Four months is a long time in football, however.

United have started the season in absymal form, losing eight of their opening sixteen games. They sit eighth in the Premier League table, third in their Champions League group and are already out of the Carabao Cup. The prospect of a successful season seems unlikely now.

Furthermore, it appears Varane has even fall out of the first-choice back four at present. The Frenchman was left on the bench for the Manchester derby, with Ten Hag explaining this decision as a “tactical” one. There have been reports Varane has been suffering with illness, which may explain why he is fit enough to make the bench, but not to start outright.

Varane’s issues with injuries have also persisted this season, already being absent for a large chunk of fixtures. Ten Hag will be desperate to add a centre-half to his ranks in January, but may not have the funds to do so without a significant departure first.

It appears, therefore, that the prospect of a move – for one of Europe’s most decorated players – to the Saudi Pro League feels far more likely this window, than the last. Which is what will have put clubs in Saudi Arabia on such high alert.

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