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“Build around him…” – Mikael Silvestre urges Man United to make contract U-Turn after Erik ten Hag comment



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Former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre has suggested that the club must reconsider their stance on one player’s contract situation.

Silvestre, 46, played for United between 1999 and 2008, making 361 appearances across that time.

Meanwhile, another French defender is on the club’s payroll right now. Raphaël Varane joined from Real Madrid in the summer of 2021 and has since played 85 games for the Old Trafford club.

The four-time Champions League winner has had mixed experiences at United. An excellent 2022/23 campaign, where he formed an excellent partnership with Lisandro Martínez, has been sandwiched between two interrupted seasons of injuries and interruptions.

Erik ten Hag did not want to partner Varane with Harry Maguire, with the manager preferring both players as the right centre-back. However, he did break that rule against Aston Villa last weekend despite Victor Lindelöf and Jonny Evans being fit.

Now, the club have decided not to trigger the one-year extension in Varane’s contract, which runs out at the end of the season. They instead want the Frenchman to agree on a new contract with a lower salary.

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Asked whether United have decided whether to keep Varane and Jonny Evans, whose contract also runs out in the summer, Ten Hag blunted responded: “We haven’t made that decision yet.”

However, Silvestre has urged United to ensure that they extend his deal no matter what. The 46-year-old believes that he would still be a ‘100 per cent starter for the club next season and that any replacements in the market would either lack the same amount of quality.

“Yeah I think we are in February, we have to wait until the end of the season (to make a decision on Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans’ contracts),” he told bettingexpert.

“For Varane, clearly, he’s still someone you can build around next season. He’s someone who can be your starter next season for sure. 100 per cent.

“So you should look at extending his contract probably now and not wait any longer because if you look at options to replace him in the market, for the price you’re going to pay, you won’t get that much quality. You’re going to pay a super high price, but you’re not sure if it will be the same quality.”