£430m release clause: Man Utd eye “extraordinary” titan, he’d perfectly replace Varane

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Last week saw the formal start of the January transfer market, which has given Manchester United the opportunity to bolster their roster.

After a dismal first half to the 2023–24 season, Erik ten Hag’s team will undoubtedly be hoping for better results over the next five months.

The Red Devils have dropped nine out of their first 20 games in the Premier League, and they are presently ranked ninth.

Along with being eliminated from Europe, they finished bottom of the Champions League group under the leadership of the Dutch head coach, winning only one of their six games.

Now, United has the ability to give their team a new lease on life in order to increase their prospects of success in the upcoming months.

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Completed Premier League transactions confirmed: January 2024 transfer window
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But because teams don’t want to lose their finest players in the middle of the season, January is a tricky window to work in. If the ideal deal doesn’t materialise, they may have to wait until the summer.

Andreas Christensen’s move to Manchester United
To increase their alternatives at the back, the Red Devils are apparently interested in a deal to sign Andreas Christensen, a central defender for Barcelona.

According to Spanish publication Sport, United is’very keen’ in making a move to bring the Denmark international back to the Premier League this month.

Newcastle United is rumoured to be interested in the remarkable behemoth as well, so Ten Hag’s squad is not the only one considering a transfer for him to bolster their defensive depth.

According to the source, Barcelona has to sell off two of its valuable assets in order to reenter the market and reinforce their own team.

They bought Christensen on a free transfer from Chelsea, meaning that his sale would result in a profit for the LaLiga giants. Christensen has an enormous £430 million release clause, making him one of the players who might be cut in order to earn money.

United Transfers – Andreas Christensen – Manchester
Sport reports that a decision on his future may be made in the summer, and they are hesitant to trade him this month, which implies that United could have to wait until the end of the season to sign him.

That would coincide with Raphael Varane’s Old Trafford contract expiring. According to The Daily Mail, the club decided not to let his contract automatically extend for an additional year.

Due to his injury concerns, the Red Devils have determined that he is not worth his present £340,000 weekly salary.

According to the source, Varane would need to take a lower salary in order for United to keep him on an extended contract. It is unclear if Varane will do that.

Whether it’s this month or in the summer, Ten Hag should let the French defender go on a free transfer and attempt to bring Christensen in as the ideal replacement.

Numbers from Raphael Varane’s season
The former enforcer for Real Madrid has failed to become the head coach’s go-to starting at the centre of the United defensive.

22–23 Premier League

Sofascore (via Raphael Varane)



Rating for sofascore


Every game, interceptions


each game’s tackle total


Double success rate

64 percent

Although players like Jonny Evans, Harry Maguire, and Victor Lindelof have occasionally been chosen ahead of him, he has made 11 Premier League appearances and started seven games in the top division so far this season.

Varane has averaged 1.4 tackles and interceptions in his 11 games. He has also averaged 3.9 ball recoveries, 3.8 clearances, and 3.9 tackles per game for his team.

Premier League Raphael Varane
The 30-year-old defender has a 69% success rate in winning 2.3 duels every game, demonstrating his ability to outclass opponent defenders in physical confrontations.

Varane’s use of the ball in possession has been mediocre, if not exceptional. In terms of progressive passes (4.26) per 90 and pass success rate (87.5%), he is among the top 28% of centre backs in the Men’s Big 5 Leagues and European tournaments over the past 365 days.

The numbers demonstrating Christensen’s potential to succeed Varane
Christensen, who possesses similar defensive qualities and the ability to contribute more to the team in possession, might potentially be the ideal replacement for the France international.

Premier League: Andreas Christensen’s transfers from Liverpool
With 15 La Liga games played thus far this season, the giant Dane has averaged 1.4 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, and 4.1 ball recoveries per game.

This demonstrates how the former Chelsea player, who was previously called “extraordinary” by manager Xavi, stops rival assaults and recovers the ball for his team at a pace that is comparable to Varane in the middle of the defence.

The former Real Madrid player has demonstrated this ability on the pitch at Old Trafford. Christensen has also won 62% of his duels, including 76% of his aerial confrontations. This indicates that he is a powerful defender who can overpower rival attackers in physical clashes.

Premier League 21–22

Christensen Andreas (via Sofascore)



Obtain a passing success rate.


Every game, interceptions


each game’s tackle total


Double success rate


The figure above shows that the 27-year-old behemoth has made 93 games in the Premier League, which is relatively recent experience. Given his familiarity with the division and the nation, he may settle in quickly at Old Trafford.

In terms of possession, Christensen may be able to provide more than Varane because, in the Men’s Big 5 Leagues and European tournaments, he ranks in the top 1% for pass success rate (94.9%) and the top 7% for progressive passes (5.53) per 90.

When you combine his pass success rate with his impressive progressive passing statistics, it becomes evident that the Barcelona player is a forward-thinking passer who seldom gives the ball away despite taking chances to advance his team up the pitch.

All things considered, Christensen’s abilities both with and without the ball plus his previous experience playing English football for Chelsea make him an ideal Varane substitute.

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