Manchester United target Raphael Varane has admitted he is flattered by the reported interest shown in him by the Premier League champions but is prepared to stay in France in order to continue his development.
The French starlet is a youth product of the Lens academy and broke into the first-team last season, making his debut at the tender age of 17, and has since amassed a total of 23 appearances for the recently relegated side.
Touted as a future French international, the commanding defender is open-minded as to where his future lies.
"Early in the season, my objective was to play as often as possible with the reserves. Finally I have played in Ligue 1," he told FranceFootball.
"I am under contract at Lens until 2015. We are in talks with the chairman to find the best solution."
"Am I going to improve in Ligue 1, and reach a new step? I have to make a choice. I can sign abroad and be loaned, or join another Ligue 1 club, or even remain at Lens," he continued.
"We talked about a departure and it seems there is no hostility from the club, even if I remain under contract."
However, Manchester United are not the only side chasing the 18-year-old’s signature, with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich also interested in securing his transfer away from his native France.
"Interest from Bayern or Man Utd? It is greatly flattering to hear those names, and I even ask myself if that is really about me.
"But I can't dream. I have to think about it and join a club that will allow me to improve.
"Remaining in Ligue 1 seems to be the more sensible choice. The most important thing to me is time spent on the pitch."
By Matt Maltbycomments