Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane has confirmed he is staying with the club, ending speculation over a potential move to Manchester United.
The World Cup winner is a long-time United target and has been linked with a move away following a disappointing season for Real. Los Blancos made their way through three managers but even the return of Zinedine Zidane failed to inspire an improvement in form – the club finishing third with just 68 points.
However, French international Varane has reaffirmed his commitment to the club. Speaking in an interview with MARCA, the defender said:
“We have fought and we have tried hard, we can not blame anything, but it is true that we missed that spark in the difficult moments.”
Varane has developed into a key player for Real since joining in 2011 and was crucial to the three consecutive Champions League wins under Zidane. However, like the whole team, his levels dropped this season and Varane emphasised the need to improve going into 2019/20.
“They are cycles, I have not been at my best level but I will see the best Varane again,” he added.
“We have to evolve and Zidane is clear about it, we have to rebuild, we have to change things as in a change of cycle.”
Varane’s commitment to Madrid will come as a blow to potential suitors.
According to L’Equipe, Manchester United and PSG both spoke to the defender’s entourage, while Juventus have also been linked. However, none of the interested parties have been able to convince Varane of a move away from the Spanish capital.
Real manager Zidane has also been clear in his intent to keep hold of Varane, and the 26-year-old will continue to be a key part of the club’s plans as they look to recover from a miserable 2018/19 season.