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Raphael Varane’s telling response to Cristiano Ronaldo stealing the limelight at Man United

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Raphael Varane has issued a telling response to questions about the attention given to Cristiano Ronaldo since his return to Manchester United.

Frenchman joined the Red Devils from Real Madrid in the summer transfer window, before seeing former team-mate Ronaldo also arrive at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese superstar has made the best possible start to life back in Manchester, scoring three goals in his opening two games.

His double against Newcastle was key to securing three points in his first outing back in the Premier League, though his strike against Young Boys failed to win United any points in the Champions League.

Ronaldo also drew attention for taking a position alongside manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when he was substituted at the Wankdorf Stadium.

The attention that has been given to Ronaldo since his stunning return has left little limelight for anyone else at United.

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That even includes statement signings Varane and Jadon Sancho, who have both flown somewhat under the radar since Ronaldo’s arrival.

That is somewhat surprising given the response that greeted the deal that saw Varane depart Real Madrid.

He has had a clear impact on United’s defence, becoming the partner that Harry Maguire needed at the back.

United have conceded just one goal in the Premier League with Varane on the pitch, with the Red Devils securing wins in both those games.

Varane spent seven years playing alongside Ronaldo so is well used to seeing the 36-year-old take over the limelight.

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And the defender has now insisted that he has no qualms over allowing Ronaldo to steal the vast majority of attention.

“No, I don’t play football for this focus. I just want to help the team,” he told Premier League Productions.

“I just want to do my best, I just want to improve and to be like who I am on the pitch. I want to do my best, that’s my objective and my mentality.”

That is a different approach to Ronaldo, who has been consistently accused of focusing too much on earning attention for himself.

Varane will be looking to bounce back from his Champions League debut for United, where he was dropped from the starting line-up for the visit to Swiss Super League side Young Boys.

See also  Erik ten Hag has already outlined his plan for Manchester United's exciting youth team

The 28-year-old was brought on at half-time by Solskjaer, though was unable to prevent the Red Devils slipping to a surprise defeat in Bern.

He will hope to return in place of Victor Lindelof for the visit to West Ham on Sunday, where United will look to maintain their unbeaten start to the new season.

They currently lie third in the table, but have the chance to leapfrog both Manchester City and Liverpool if they can defeat the Hammers by three or more goals.

It will be a tough test for the Red Devils though, with the visit to the London Stadium arguably being Varane’s toughest so far in his Premier League career.

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Three Man United youngsters impressing Erik ten hang in training, with new boss shocked by one

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Erik ten Hag has only been coaching at Manchester United for a couple of days – but there are already three youngsters reportedly impressing their new boss.

The Dutchman has a good record of promoting youth players into the first team, which is something he did so well at Ajax.

And there is a trio of teenagers at Old Trafford who want to follow in the footsteps of Sergino Dest, Jurrien Timber, Ryan Gravenberch and Noa Lang, who were all given opportunities by Ten Hag in the first team of his former club.

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The Sun report that Zidane Iqbal is one of those, having signed a new contract at the Premier League side earlier this summer.

The 19-year-old, who made his first-team debut against Young Boys in the Champions League last December, has ‘shocked’ his new boss, who could be set for more minutes under the Dutch boss.

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Argentine winger Alejandro Garnacho is another who has caught Ten Hag’s eye in training, after scoring twice in the FA Youth Cup final against Nottingham Forest last season.

Garnacho, 18, trained with the Argentina senior squad earlier this year, having made two sub appearances for United.

He was also given Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick ball after his treble against Norwich.

Hannibal Mejbri, 19, made a number of appearances towards the end of last season – including a fiery performance in the club’s heavy defeat to Liverpool.

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And he is another academy graduate who Ten Hag could throw into the first-team fold, especially with Ronaldo reportedly wanting to leave the club.

To expect any of that trio to immediately replace the wantaway superstar would be unrealistic.

But, give it a few years, and United could have the next Ronaldo on their hands.

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Erik Ten Hag demands Man Utd ‘be fast’ about getting £43m signing over the line

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Erik ten Hag has told Man Utd to hurry up over a potential deal to sign Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez, according to reports.

The Red Devils are looking for a new centre-back this summer to give Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane some competition.

Man Utd have been linked with a number of defenders but a potential transfer for Martinez seems to have legs with a number of respected journalists revealing Ten Hag’s interest in a deal.

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The Argentina international was one of Ajax’s best players under Ten Hag last season with the 24-year-old playing 37 times in all competitions for the Eredivisie champions.

Ajax have been holding out for €50m (£43m) for Martinez but reports yesterday indicated they are ‘willing to cooperate’ with Man Utd after the Red Devils put an offer of €41m plus €4m in add-ons on the table.

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And that will be music to Ten Hag’s ears with journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming that the Dutchman has told Man Utd ‘to be fast’ over sealing a deal for Martinez with competition coming from fellow Premier League side Arsenal.

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It is understood that Martinez is ‘pushing to leave Ajax’ this summer and Ten Hag wants the Argentine as his next signing after Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia.

Arsenal are described as ‘still there’ in the race for Martinez but Romano adds that Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘wants him strongly’.

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Barcelona do not want to sign Ronaldo, Lewandowski is the priority

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Following the meeting between Barcelona and super-agent Jorge Mendes on Monday, there has been non-stop speculation that the Catalans have been offered a chance to sign Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old is intent on securing an exit from Old Trafford this summer, just a year after returning to his old stomping ground.

The lack of Champions League football and the failure to sign any players so far have been cited as reasons for the Portuguese maverick to seek a move.

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There have been talks with Chelsea, while a move to Bayern Munich has also been mooted. And following the meeting between his agent Mendes and Barcelona president Joan Laporta, it is being heavily speculated that Ronaldo has been offered to the Blaugrana.

However, as per a report from journalist David Bernabeu Reverter, there is zero chance that Barcelona will sign Ronaldo this summer.

The Spanish journalist claims that Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski remains the utmost priority for the Blaugrana this summer and their stance on the matter is non-negotiable.

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Barça have been pursuing Lewandowski for months and even have a three-year contract agreement in place with the Poland captain.

However, Bayern Munich’s unwillingness to negotiate with the Catalans is proving to be a major hurdle.

In spite of that, the Blaugrana remain intent on signing Lewandowski and are not considering bringing in Ronaldo, as per the aforementioned update.

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Despite being 37, Ronaldo remains in tremendous shape and scored 24 goals in all competitions last season. However, he has a rich history with Real Madrid.

The Portugal captain is Los Blancos’ all-time leading goalscorer and a club legend. So, it is hard to fathom that a move to Camp Nou can materialise.

As things stand, at least according to what David Bernabeu Reverter’s sources are stating, Lewandowski is the absolute priority for Barcelona.

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