French defender Raphaël Varane, 2018 world champion with the Blues, will leave Manchester United when his contract expires at the end of the season, the English club announced on Tuesday May 14. The 31-year-old, who retired internationally after the 2022 World Cup final lost to Argentina, will have spent three seasons with the Red Devils, after a triumphant decade at Real Madrid (2011-2021).

“I fell in love with the club, the supporters. You have to play for Manchester United to understand what it means, he described in a video posted on his social networks. This will be a special place for me for life. » The former vice-captain of the Blues (93 caps), injured since the beginning of April, will greet the Old Trafford public one last time on the occasion of Newcastle’s visit on Wednesday for the last match of the season at residence.

“Varane has brought a huge amount of class and experience to the team in the 93 matches he has played so far,” Manchester United highlighted in the press release announcing his upcoming departure. Multi-titled with Real Madrid (four Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles, among others), the Frenchman joined the Mancunian club in August 2021 after a transfer estimated at 40 million euros.

67 Premier League matches

In England, he only won the League Cup at the end of the 2022-2023 season, during which he guided the Mancunian defense as a starter alongside Lisandro Martinez. He was used much less this year by coach Erik ten Hag, due to competition with Harry Maguire or his injuries. The central defender has not played since April 4 due to a muscle problem.

In total, he played 67 matches in the Premier League, including 58 as a starter. His return is hoped for by the end of the season, notably for the FA Cup final on May 25 against Manchester City at Wembley. “Everyone at United thanks “Rapha” for his help and wishes him well for the future,” the club wrote. Raphaël Varane has not yet said where he will continue his career, which began in Lens in 2010.