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Lionel Messi to be joined by departing Manchester United player at Inter Miami?

Lionel Messi to be joined by Man United player in MLS?
© Reuters
David Beckham's Inter Miami are reportedly 'in talks' to sign free agent Raphael Varane following his summer departure from Manchester United.

David Beckham's Inter Miami are 'in talks' to sign free agent Raphael Varane following his summer departure from Manchester United, according to a report.

After the 3-2 victory over Newcastle United last month, Varane bid farewell to the Old Trafford faithful as he brought an end to his three-year tenure at the club.

The 31-year-old made a total of 95 appearances for the Red Devils between 2021 and 2024, playing a key role in helping Erik ten Hag's team secure the EFL and FA Cup titles in that time.

With his contract set to expire this summer, United opted not to offer the World Cup-winning centre-back a new deal as the club heads in a new direction under Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

In recent weeks, the French international has been linked with a return to his former club Lens, while Spanish giants Atletico Madrid are also believed to have signalled their interest in his services.

However, according to TyC Sports, Varane might be on his way to Major League Soccer to join his former La Liga rival Lionel Messi at Inter Miami.

Inter Miami CF co-owner David Beckham on July 17, 2023© Reuters

Inter Miami eyeing summer move for Raphael Varane

The Miami-based MLS side were founded six years ago by Man United legend David Beckham and boasts a roster of superstars, including former Barcelona quartet Messi, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.

Varane could now become the latest marquee player to arrive at Chase Stadium, with the report adding that the Herons have already initiated talks with him regarding a possible move this summer.

It is understood that Inter Miami boss Gerardo Martino has prioritised bringing in a new centre-back this season, given the serious ligament injury sustained by Nicolas Freire.

The major obstacle to getting a deal done for the MLS outfit is that the three designated player spots in the side are currently taken up by Busquets, Messi and Leonardo Campana.

As a result, Inter Miami would need to either cut one of the three players mentioned to free up a spot for Varane, or the Frenchman will have to agree to a significant pay cut to fit within the club's salary cap.

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane on August 14, 2023© Reuters

Varane's final season at Old Trafford

The 31-year-old's impact during the 2023-24 season for the Red Devils was restricted due to injuries, with the former Real Madrid star making 32 appearances across all competitions.

His central defensive partner and Messi's Argentine compatriot Lisandro Martinez also missed the majority of the campaign, which saw Ten Hag left without his first-choice centre-back pairing for large spells.

However, Varane and Martinez were able to reunite one final time and delivered impressive performances in United's 2-1 win over cross-town rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

The Frenchman arrived at Old Trafford in 2021, when the Red Devils shelled out £34m to bring him to the Premier League from Real Madrid.

In an emotional farewell message, the veteran defender wrote: "Despite the fact we have had a difficult season, I am very positive for the future," he said.

"The new owners are coming with a clear plan and a great strategy. I will see you at Old Trafford to say goodbye in the last home game this season. It's going to be a very emotional day for me, for sure."

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