Raphael Varane insists the media portrayal of Paul Pogba is far removed from reality and has been quick to praise the “positive energy” his fellow World Cup winner brings to the Old Trafford club.
The France international joined forces with his compatriot in August. The serial winner signed for the Premier League giants in a £34million deal from Real Madrid.
How long Varane and Pogba stay together at United remains to be seen. Indeed, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola set the cats among the pigeons again on Friday by stating “there’s still a chance” his client could return to Juventus.
For now the focus of everyone at United is on Sunday’s trip to West Ham. A win at the London Stadium will likely see them remain at the Premier League summit having collected 10 points from their opening four league fixtures.
“Paul spoke to me about the club, about the atmosphere, about the expectations,” Varane told Sky Sports.
“He is a great player but he also has very good, positive energy. He is a leader for the group. I’ve known him for a very long time so I’m happy to play with him.”
Varane targeting Premier League glory
During a decade with Real Madrid, Varane enjoyed a trophy-laden spell. The defender claimed three LaLiga titles in addition to four Champions League crowns.
The 28-year-old is eager to rise to the challenge at Old Trafford. Indeed, the Red Devils have not been able to win the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season at the club in 2013.
And Varane has made it perfectly clear what his main aim for United is.
“This is a new challenge for me. A different competition, a different mentality, a different atmosphere. It’s all new for me but I’ve enjoyed every day so far.
“It’s a big challenge to get Manchester United back to the top but I feel people want to win, people want to do great things with this club, and that’s a big motivation for me.”
The addition of Varane could help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side make the final step, having finished second last season and he can see encouraging signs with new centre-back partner Harry Maguire.
“I think Harry Maguire is a great player but we have to work hard to feel comfortable on the pitch,” he said.
“It’s the same with every defender in the team. It’s important to feel connected. We have to move together and motivate each other. Every day, we are learning and improving.”