Man Utd duo Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial show true colours during lap of honour

Anthony Martial and Raphael Varane have bid farewell to Old Trafford. (Image: Getty)

Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial bid an emotional farewell to Old Trafford after Manchester United’s 3-2 win against Newcastle United last night. The French duo’s embrace with the Stretford End as they left the pitch as United players for the final time spoke volumes of the mutual respect after a difficult season.

Varane has already confirmed that he will leave the club when his contract expires in June. Martial is widely expected to follow him out the exit door, also as a free agent.

Neither featured in the important victory against Newcastle, which kept Erik ten Hag’s faint hopes of avoiding a record-low eighth-place Premier League finish alive.

Kobbie Mainoo, Amad Diallo and Rasmus Hojlund supplied the goals, with Anthony Gordon and Lewis Hall netting for the visitors.

Varane has managed just 16 league starts in another injury-stricken season after joining from Real Madrid in 2021.

Martial’s fitness woes have also been well-documented across his nine years at United, contributing to his struggles to reach the scary potential he displayed after arriving as a teenager from AS Monaco.

The 28-year-old striker has started just five times in the Premier League this term and looks increasingly unlikely to play for the club again before departing.

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Anthony Martial and Raphael Varane shared an embrace with the Stretford End. (Image: SIMON PEACH (X))

Martial’s relationship with supporters, in particular, has grown strained in recent years due to his inconsistent availability.

At one point under Jose Mourinho, it would’ve been a significant shock to learn that he lasted until 2024, given the pair’s damaging rift.

However, the United No. 9 was serenaded by the Stretford End as he headed towards the tunnel, wearing a smile on his face while tapping the club badge on his coat as a show of mutual love.

Varane has spent six fewer years in M16 but he also displayed his admiration for the fanbase as he waved and clapped to the tune of Martial’s iconic chant.

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Tom Heaton, Jonny Evans, Brandon Williams and Sofyan Amrabat join the duo in the dying embers of their current deals. None are likely to last the summer, although Evans could remain in some capacity.

Their exits are primed to be part of a ruthless clear-out at the start of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS’ rule over football operations.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen were in action against Newcastle but could have also waved goodbye to the Old Trafford crowd.

Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Donny van de Beek, Hannibal Mejbri, Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood are all expected to join them in the shop window.