Manchester United confirm £41m signing will say Old Trafford farewell v Newcastle United

Manchester United have confirmed one of their players will leave on a free transfer this summer

Newcastle United’s visit to Old Trafford could be the last time Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane plays at the famous ground after the Frenchmen announced his decision to leave the club this summer.

The 2018 World Cup winner is out of contract with the Red Devils at the end of the season and despite his deal having a 12-month extension clause, he will not see that activated as he prepares to depart.

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The defender joined the club in 2021 from Real Madrid for a fee in the region of £41m. He featured in the 2023 League Cup final as Erik ten Hag’s side defeated Newcastle at Wembley to lift the trophy. It is unclear if Varane will be fit to face Newcastle on Wednesday, however, as he battles to recover from an injury he picked up in the dramatic 4-3 defeat against Chelsea on April 4.

In a message to fans, he said he will still be in attendance at Old Trafford to say his goodbyes. He told Manchester United’s official club website: "To you guys, supporters of Manchester United, it has been an amazing few years to play for this special club and wear that shirt. The first time I went to Old Trafford as a Man United player was insane. The atmosphere was amazing.

"I fell in love with the club, with the fans. You have to play for Manchester United to understand what that represents. For my kids, it's home here. It is going to be a special place for me for life. "When the fans go to Wembley it's something they remember for life," he added, ahead of our latest trip to the national stadium on 25 May, to face Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup final.

"To share that moment with them [winning the Carabao Cup last season] was absolutely amazing. Despite the fact we have had a difficult season, I am very positive for the future. 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. And it's going to be a very emotional day for me, for sure."

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Newcastle could take a giant step towards a sixth-placed finish if they claim victory in Manchester on Wednesday, with Chelsea travelling to Brighton on the same night. A draw would mean Eddie Howe’s side can effectively finish no lower than 7th as their superior goal difference would make them uncatchable for Ten Hag’s men, who sit eighth. A fifth-placed finish is still possible, as two wins for the Magpies coupled with two defeats for Tottenham Hotspur would be enough to snatch fifth spot from the North London club.

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