Raphael Varane is one of many players across Europe whose future is a subject of much speculation at the moment. He recently refused to discuss it himself, but L’Equipe reported that he wanted to leave Real Madrid, and the news apparently did not come as a great shock to his teammates, who had already been informed of his wish.

The 25-year-old centre-back has won it all at the Santiago Bernabeu, as well as the World Cup last year with France, and he is keen on a fresh challenge away from the Spanish capital, according to Marca.

If so, he shouldn’t be short of suitors among top clubs of the continent given his quality and the fact that he’s yet to enter his best years as a footballer, but the buyout clause in his current contract, set at €500 million, could prove to be a stumbling block in his plans.

He will therefore have to negotiate and convince the club to sanction his departure for significantly less than that.