Raphael Varane’s performances have been slipping over the past few years for France and Manchester United could be impacted, according to a former France international
United signed Varane on a four-year contract in August after agreeing to pay Real £34million, plus add-ons which could take the deal to £43m.
The 28-year-old was United’s number one target for a centre-back in the summer transfer window and was heralded as an impressive signing by many.
Varane has won four Champions League titles, three La Ligas and the Copa del Rey with Real Madrid, as well as the World Cup with France.
He has only made seven appearances for United since joining, but will miss the upcoming matches after picking up a groin injury as France came from behind to beat Spain 2-1 in the Nations League final on Sunday.
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And United have now been sent a warning over his form by ex-France winger Olivier Rouyer, who has not been impressed by his recent performances.
“I’m extremely disappointed by Varane’s performances, whether it be with Real Madrid or the France national team,” Rouyer told L’Equipe TV.
“I’m not saying that he no longer has the level. You can say that [Sergio] Ramos brought a lot to Varane. If he’s where he is, it’s thanks to Ramos.
“I’m criticising him for not strengthening that axis, not helping [Presnel] Kimpembe grow or the young [Jules] Kounde who’s coming.
“I’ve been an admirer of Varane, but I find that he’s not been at that level for the past two seasons. I think it’s time to pass the baton.
“You have to hope that Kimpembe can go up a level, that he’ll return to the top with PSG when he’s sorted his problems out.
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“That can maybe help Kounde, Lucas Hernandez and why not [Dayot] Upamecano and [Kurt] Zouma to confirm themselves. Things need to change at one point eventually”.
It was initially thought that Harry Maguire would also be out through injury, meaning Victor Lindelof would be partnered by Eric Bailly, but that might not be the case.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed on Friday afternoon that Maguire was back in training and could feature against Leicester.
“Harry’s just joined us on the grass this morning, that’s the first time he’s been on the grass,” Solskjaer said.
Meanwhile, Rashford is also back in contention for the first time this season following shoulder surgery.
“He’s in the squad, yes,” Solskjaer said. “If he’s going to start or not, I can’t tell you now, because it wouldn’t be right.”