Raphael Varane has excited at the prospect of linking up with France team-mate Paul Pogba at Manchester United as the Red Devils’ new £42million signing gave his first interview since sealing his switch.
The 28-year-old was unveiled to a sensational ovation from the United masses at Old Trafford before their season opener against Leeds, with Varane flaunting his new No 19 shirt before supporters.
The Frenchman has put pen to paper on a four-year deal with United, ending Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s search for an elite defender to partner alongside club captain and £80m man Harry Maguire.
Raphael Varane has expressed excitement at the prospect of linking up with Paul Pogba
The Frenchman sealed his £42million switch to Old Trafford from Real Madrid last week
United are aiming to close the gap on arch rivals Manchester City and win the Premier League, with Solskjaer starved of silverware during his tenure. Varane’s vast array of trophies adds much-needed experience to help United over the line.
And Varane could not contain his excitement at the reality that he will be playing alongside Pogba week in, week out for United.
‘I’m very happy,’ he told the club’s official website. ‘I’ve known him for a very long time, we started together with the French national team and he’s a great player.
‘I think he’s ambitious and me too, so we are ready to work hard and to do all we can to win trophies.’
Varane (R) has played alongside Pogba (No 6) with France and said he ‘motivates’ other players
Pogba’s United future is uncertain, with the Frenchman entering the final year of his contract. Varane added that his countryman is ‘very positive’ and has ‘very good energy’ in the dressing room.
‘I think Paul is very positive and he has a very good energy; he motivates players in the dressing room and on the pitch with his energy.
‘We are different but we are very complementary, and it’s important in the team to have different types of leaders and characters.’
Varane has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford, with the club heavily linked with the defender in 2011, before he opted to move to Real Madrid.
Pogba’s United future is uncertain with the Frenchman entering the final year of his contract
But Varane says that Pogba has a ‘very positive’ attitude and gives off ‘good energy’ as a player
The 28-year-old said that, although he snubbed Sir Alex Ferguson’s advances ten years ago, he jumped at the chance of playing Premier League football when the opportunity arose again.
‘There had been a lot of rumours and a lot of people speaking about me and Manchester United since 2011, when Sir Alex Ferguson came to my mother’s house,’ he said.
‘When it was real, that was when I spoke with my club, and I felt it was a real opportunity to play in the Premier League for Manchester United.’
Varane is excited to follow in the footsteps of ‘legends’ Rio Ferdinand (L) and Nemanja Vidic (R)
Varane also shared his pride in following in the footsteps of ‘legends’ Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, delighting in joining the United ‘family’.
‘Of course, Vidic and Ferdinand were legends,’ he added. ‘I remember players like Cristiano, Giggs and Beckham also. They are legends and I’m very proud to be part of this family.’
Varane is United’s third signing of the summer, behind £73m man Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton, a free signing. United are next in action on Sunday when they travel to Southampton in the Premier League.