Raphael Varane may have already hinted at his next club ahead of Manchester United exit

Raphael Varane applauds Manchester United's supporters after the club's lap of honour at Old Trafford.
-Credit: (Image: James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images.)

Outgoing centre-back Raphael Varane has said he is in no rush to make a decision on his future after playing his final game for Manchester United.

It was announced earlier this month that he will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June. He joined United from Spanish side Real Madrid in August 2021 and made just short of 100 appearances.

His impending exit from Old Trafford means he will be a free agent for the very first time in his career. As a result, he is not planning to rush into a decision on where he will go next, insisting he will "take time" to assess his options.

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"I don't know [where I will go]," Varane told beIN Sports. "I'll take time to think.

"I just wanted to come back in time for the final. A return to France? Everything is possible.

"I'm at the end of my contract. It's the first time that has happened in my career so I'll take the time to really think."

Last year, Varane admitted he had plans to finish his career at one of just three clubs, naming United, Madrid and French outfit Lens, where he was a product of their academy. The Ligue 1 club have been linked with the prospect of re-signing him in recent months.

The Frenchman, speaking to GQ Magazine in March 2023, said: "I will finish my career either in Madrid, or in Manchester, or in Lens. 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 club career] in either Manchester or Lens."

With Varane's United career having reached its conclusion and a return to the Bernabeu highly unlikely, Varane could return to his homeland this summer and join Lens. They finished seventh in Ligue 1 this term, narrowly missing out on European qualification.

Varane joined Lens' academy in 2002 and graduated to the first team in 2010. He moved to Madrid in June 2011 and spent 10 years in the Spanish capital.