United Outcast denies The Star

Raphael Varane was introduced to his new Red Devils fans prior of kick-off on Saturday. The £42 million Frenchman would hope to replace Victor Lindelof alongside Harry Maguire in the future games. He will don the United Jersey wearing the No 19 shirt. The number which previously belonged to Amad Diallo.

The First Request at United

Varane had requested the number 4 which he also wears for France. As their talks neared a conclusion, Jones flatly refused. Jones has worn the No. 4 shirt since joining United from Blackburn in 2011. But the 29-year-old hasn’t played for United in almost 18 months. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to bench the centre-back after a disastrous 2018-19 campaign. With his contract ending in 2023, the club has yet to generate any interest in selling the player this summer.

Varane will likely inherit Jones’ shirt when United eventually managed to shift the fallen star Sir Alex Ferguson once said ‘could be our greatest player ever.’ Varane further chose 19 as it was the number he wore in his first season with Real Madrid. He had spiked Ferguson’s interest as a young talent in Lens.

He wore No. 2 from 2012 to 2016. Then settled on No. 5. During Varane’s time in Spain, the No 4 shirt was reserved for Bernabeu legend Sergio Ramos. He wanted to eventually wear it in England. Varane will have been impressed by his new club after seeing them win 5-1 on Saturday, thanks to goals from Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Mason Greenwood.

The Roadblock to Sell Jones

As Old Trafford welcomed back a packed house of supporters. Bruno Fernandes scored a hat-trick while Varane’s international team-mate Pogba piled up four assists. Jones, who has two years left on his United deal, will slip even farther down the pecking order with the signing of Varane. Jones’ contract expires in June 2023, although he is unable to fetch a transfer fee owing to an injury that has kept him out for 13 months.

Only a few months after Solskjaer took over as manager of the Red Devils following Jose Mourinho’s dismissal. The defender extended his contract for another four years in the middle of the 2018-19 season. The agreement pays the 29-year-old £4 million per year. But he hasn’t featured since a 6-0 FA Cup win against Tranmere Rovers in January 2020.

Author: Aditya Desai

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