Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag confirmed yesterday that talks are ongoing with Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial after the extension clauses on their contracts were not triggered.
The Red Devils are aiming to negotiate reduced terms with Varane in the coming weeks, but we won’t be surprised if they make a similar proposal to Martial.
The Frenchman is one of the longest-serving players at the club, but his playing time has reduced over recent seasons amid his inability to stay fit over extended spells.
He has been sidelined through illness over the past few weeks and Ten Hag has already confirmed that he won’t be available for the upcoming FA Cup third-round tie at Wigan Athletic.
With this in mind, United are quite clear that they don’t want to extend his deal beyond June 2024 unless he accepts a reasonable pay cut on his current wages of £250,000-a-week.
The £36 million signing has not done enough to justify the salary paid over recent years. At 27, he is no longer a guaranteed starter and may have to adapt to a rotational role.
United currently have Rasmus Hojlund as the main striker after the huge outlay to sign him from Atalanta.
The Red Devils are aiming to pursue another centre-forward on loan. RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner could be an option until the summer before the club invest in a new marksman.
There is a good possibility that Martial could become the third-choice striker if he stays next season. United could ask him to accept a 50 per cent pay cut to extend his deal.
Varane could be handed a similar offer, considering his frustrating injury record. The World Cup winner has already missed over 30 games for United since his arrival in July 2021.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Capology.com
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