Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has revealed how he plans to end his playing career.

The France World Cup winner has been playing senior football on a consistent basis since he was 17, making his debut for boyhood club Lens all the way back in 2010.

After just one season in Lens’ senior setup, Varane was snapped up by Real Madrid. He went on to make 336 appearances for Los Blancos, helping them to three La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions Leagues, four FIFA Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cups and one Copa del Rey.

He brought down the curtain on a 10-year stay in the Spanish capital and signed for United in the summer of 2021, and after a tough debut season in the Premier League, has now rediscovered his best form under the guidance of Erik ten Hag.


In an interview with GQ France, Varane – who doesn’t turn 30 until next month – opened up on how he plans to finish his playing career.

“I will finish my career either in Madrid, or in Manchester, or in Lens,” he said. “It is sure that I will not join another club. But Madrid, it seems complicated to me, we don’t usually come back to it. The most likely [option as of] today is that I finish in Manchester or Lens.

“The closer you get to 30, the more you think about it. Since I was seven years old I have been playing football so inevitably there is a little apprehension, but no fear. Like every major decision in life, it requires careful thought and it will be done step by step. From experience, we will tend to trust him to make the right decisions.”

Varane suggested in his interview that it would be difficult to return to Real Madrid.

Los Blancos are not known as a club that bring players back on sentiment, nor do they re-sign them unless they were still at the peak of their powers – they twice declined the chance to reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo as he engineered an exit from United.

Though Varane is not necessarily on the decline, it would be hard for a player with so many miles on his body to return to his peak form and convince Real Madrid he is worth buying for a second time.


On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss why Harry Kane would be a better signing for Man Utd than Napoli marksman Victor Osimhen. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!


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