Raphael Varane says he is “working hard to feel comfortable” alongside Harry Maguire at the heart of Manchester United’s defence.

Varane joined United from Real Madrid this summer and has slotted in next to the England international in place of Victor Lindelof.

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And the Frenchman spoke of the importance of a “connection” as they look to build on an encouraging start.

“I think Harry Maguire is a great player but we have to work hard to feel comfortable on the pitch,” Varane told Sky Sports.

“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.”

Varane also praised the “positive energy” brought to the squad by compatriot Paul Pogba.

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.

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,” he added.

“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.

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.”


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