Raphael Varane feels stifled by his position in the Manchester United squad, and that could prompt his exit.

The speculation that Varane may be leaving has intensified in the last several weeks. The Frenchman’s contract with Manchester United expires in the summer of 2025, but Erik Ten Hag is relegating him to a supporting role.

United are supposedly planning a team reconstruction in the wake of their recent struggles, and Varane is supposedly one of the players they want to unload, maybe during the January transfer window.

This season, the Frenchman has hardly seen any playing time with the first squad. Nevertheless, he started last weekend’s match against Liverpool despite Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and Lisandro Martinez all being out with injury.

In a solid performance, the former Real Madrid player led his squad’s defense to a clean-sheet victory at Anfield. Speculation over the Frenchman’s future at Old Trafford arose when, after starting against Liverpool, he missed the next match against West Ham because of sickness.

What did Raphael Varane previously say of his future?

Reports have surfaced linking Varane to a return to Real Madrid, his previous club. It was in the wake of the announcement that David Alaba would miss the rest of the season due to an ACL tear.

A different club, however, has entered the competition as of late. Lens is a possible destination for Varane. He is open to leaving United, according to French source L’Equipe.

In particular, the 30-year-old has said in the past that he plans to retire from Lens, United, and Real Madrid. “I will finish my career either in Madrid, or in Manchester, or in Lens,” the center-back said back in March.

“I will not move to another club [other than those]. But Madrid seems complicated to me. Players don’t usually go back there. The most likely outcome today is that I will finish [my career] in either Manchester or Lens.”

Thus, a return to the Estadio Bollaert-Delelis is within the realm of possibilities. But Lens may find it financially challenging to clinch a deal.

The little playing time has left Varane angry, the report adds. He is reportedly considering leaving the Premier League club. Still, his representatives refute rumors of a transfer to Saudi Arabia when speaking with the French newspaper. Therefore, the alternatives are not endless.

Lens coach would welcome Varane with ‘open arms’

Frank Haise, head coach of Lens in Ligue 1, has said that his team would welcome the defender’s return if given the chance.

“If Varane wants to return, we will welcome him with open arms. However, with the contract, it’s another thing. I read that it would also be complicated for Bayern Munich to pay his salary.

“And if it is [difficult] for them… but maybe he wants to come back. I don’t know. Who knows? However, it is not a current debate to be addressed now,” he told Calciomercato.

Zinedine Zidane suggested Real Madrid purchase Varane for a meager $11 million after he made 24 appearances for the Blood and Gold in the 2010-11 season.