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Raphael Varane hails Manchester United team-mate Paul Pogba’s ‘positive energy’

Varane Pogba

New Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has praised the “positive energy” Paul Pogba brings to the group at Old Trafford and is excited about the challenge of helping the club win the title again.

The France international joined forces with his compatriot in August when he signed for the Premier League giants in a £34million deal from Real Madrid.

How long Varane will be with his fellow Frenchman at United remains to be seen, with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola stating on Friday to Rai Sport that “there’s still a chance” his client could return to Juventus, especially with his contract up next summer.

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For now the focus of everyone at United is on Sunday’s trip to West Ham, where they will aim to 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.”

During a decade with Real Madrid, Varane enjoyed a trophy-laden spell and claimed three LaLiga titles in addition to four Champions League crowns.

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The 28-year-old is eager to rise to the challenge at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils not able to win the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season at the club in 2013.

Varane added: “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.”