Raphael Varane has urged Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba to commit his future to the club, while he says his partnership with skipper Harry Maguire will take time to fully establish.
French midfielder Pogba has less than a year left to run on his current contract and will be able to begin talks with foreign clubs over a free transfer from January onwards – potentially the second time he has left Old Trafford for nothing.
United are prepared to make Pogba their second highest paid player behind Cristiano Ronaldo, though he has been stalling on putting pen to paper amid links with Real Madrid and PSG.
But Varane – who swapped the Spanish capital for Manchester this summer – hopes his compatriot will eventually sign a new deal with the Red Devils, while he also revealed how Pogba helped convince him to join United.
‘It is of course his decision, but of course I hope he stays here for a long time,’ Varane told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.
‘He is a fantastic player, so undoubtedly I hope he stays.’
On his conversations with Pogba prior to signing, the centre-back continued: ‘He did not have to convince me that I should move here, but I talked to him about the club to find out what it is like to be here day-to-day.
‘It was important for me to hear his opinions and thoughts about the club, the team and their ambitions.’
Varane spent a decade alongside Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid but now has a new defensive partner in club captain Maguire; the new arrival is full of praise for the English centre-back, though feels their understanding will improve a lot more over time.
‘He is a top player. On the field we are still working to get to know each other better,’ Varane explained.
‘We try to talk to each other so that we can understand each other even better, and in that way coordinate our movements and our positioning. This applies not only to me and Harry, but to the entire defence.
‘It is understandable that we need some time for things to become automated, but it will happen because the defence consists of quality players who have qualities that complement each other.
‘I think gradually we will develop a better understanding and a better partnership, which in turn will lead to us being able to perform and compete at our maximum level.’