Man Utd make bold transfer decision on £34m defender as West Ham star nears exit

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The 3AddedMinutes take on the latest Premier League transfer talk as Manchester United, West Ham United and Sheffield United hit the headlines.

Manchester United have reportedly made a big call over the future of veteran defender Raphael Varane.

The France international joined the Red Devils in a £34m deal during the summer of 2021 and was part of the side that led the club to their Carabao Cup Final win against Newcastle United last season and secured a return to the Champions League with a third place finish in the Premier League.

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There is an injury crisis across the backline and Varane has been stepping up and one of just two fit senior centre-backsThere is an injury crisis across the backline and Varane has been stepping up and one of just two fit senior centre-backs
There is an injury crisis across the backline and Varane has been stepping up and one of just two fit senior centre-backs

However, injuries, illness and a drop in form have meant Varane has struggled to nail down a regular place in Erik ten Hag's starting eleven during the opening half of the current campaign and there are now reports suggested the Dutch boss has made a big decision over the defender's future.

The Daily Mail have reported the 13-time Premier League champions have decided against triggering a one-year extension in Varane's deal - but do plan to open talks over a new contract over the coming weeks. The former Real Madrid centre-back is now in the final six months of his current deal at Old Trafford and that would enable him to hold discussions with other clubs.

The 3AM Verdict: Varane's ability has never been in question and his career has brought major honours aplenty. That continued with Man Utd's Carabao Cup win last season - but it is hard to see the defender remaining at Old Trafford unless he is willing to take a cut in his reported £340,000 weekly wage.

Blades consider Leicester City loan decision

HOLDING ON: Luke Thomas challenges Phil FodenHOLDING ON: Luke Thomas challenges Phil Foden
HOLDING ON: Luke Thomas challenges Phil Foden

Sheffield United are reportedly facing a major decision over the future of loan signing Luke Thomas. The Sun's Alan Nixon has now claimed the Blades could cut short the defender's season-long loan spell at Bramall Lane after he struggled to make an impact during the first half of the Premier League campaign.

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Thomas has made 11 starts for the Blades and returned to their starting lineup for Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Manchester City after failing to appear in their previous five league fixtures. A move back to his parent club could leave Thomas in limbo as the Foxes have hit a rich vein of form in his absence and now look increasingly likely to limit their stay in the Championship to just a solitary season.

The 3AM Verdict: It does not seem too long ago that Thomas was viewed as a potential candidate for the senior England squad - but now his short-term future seems to be in question after he struggled at Sheffield United. A move back to Leicester may well see him return to the Premier League but surely he would hope to be regular in Enzo Maresca's side, something that is far from guaranteed.

Hammers star closing on January exit

West Ham United are set to lose one of their Europa Conference League winners over the coming weeks - according to Fabrizio Romano.

Richarlison is challenged by Thilo Kehrer. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Richarlison is challenged by Thilo Kehrer. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Richarlison is challenged by Thilo Kehrer. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The transfer expert has reported Hammers defender Thilo Kehrer is closing in on a return to France 16 months after joining David Moyes' side from Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. The 27-year-old 50 appearances for the Hammers and appeared as a substitute in their Conference League Final win over Italian club Fiorentina last season.

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However, it now appears the defender will return to France during the January transfer window after Romano revealed he is close to an agreement to join Monaco and stated a deal between the two clubs is 'at the final stages'.

The 3AM Verdict: Kehrer has been a shrewd addition for Moyes and not the first of his time as Hammers manager. But with the Scot hoping for further additions during the next month, a move back to France seems the right decision for the defender.

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