Erik ten Hag’s relationship with Raphael Varane at Manchester United has ‘practically broken down’ after a ‘frank exchange’ between the pair last month.
Varane, who was key to Ten Hag’s success in his debut season at Old Trafford, finds himself out of favour in the Dutch manager’s second term at the club.
Having been an undisputed starter at the heart of the defence alongside Lisandro Martinez, the World Cup winner has now slipped down the pecking order below Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans.
And the Daily Mail now claim that the relationship between Ten Hag and Varane has ‘practically broken down’ after ‘a frank exchange of views’ between the pair when the centre-back was dropped for the Manchester derby last month.
The United boss said at the time that it was a tactical decision, but Varane has only made three substitute appearances since.
The report adds: ‘The 30-year-old is said to be unhappy that Jonny Evans has been chosen ahead of him, and Victor Lindelof was then selected to play alongside Harry Maguire against Luton two weeks ago when Evans was injured.’
Speaking to beIN Sports earlier this week, Ten Hag was eager to point out that Varane’s lack of game time is due to Maguire’s impressive form.
“He [Maguire] took his chance,” Ten Hag said on Thursday. “We were talking about injured players, he took his chance when Rapha [Varane] was absent.
“There is internal competition, which is normal in big clubs. When your chance comes, you must seize it and the others must fight to find their place.”
As a result of his ousting from the United first team, Varane has been heavily linked with the United exit, with Serie A clubs said to be interested, along with Bayern Munich, while offers from Saudi Arabia are expected to arrive again after the defender rejected the advances of Al-Ittihad over the summer.
Reports have claimed Ten Hag wants to retain Varane until the summer, but with the relationship in tatters a January exit is surely on the cards.