Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has reacted to Raphael Varane announcing his retirement from international football. The French defender has called time on his nine-year career playing for his country.
Varane, 29, announced on Instagram:
"Every time I wore this very special blue jersey, I felt immense pride. The duty to give it all, play my heart out and win every time we put on the field. I've been contemplating this for several months and deciding it's the right time for me to retire internationally."
The former Real Madrid defender won the 2018 FIFA World Cup with Les Bleus and made it to the 2022 World Cup final. He earned 93 international caps, scoring five goals.
Ten Hag has commented on Varane's retirement from international football, saying that it's good news for Manchester United. The Dutchman also lauded Varane, saying (via UtdDistrict):
"For (Manchester United), I think it's good news. Rapha, he achieved everything in terms of football club wise but also with his nation, it is incredible what he achieved, big respect, and I am happy he puts all his energy and experience into the team."
Varane has impressed for the Red Devils this season. He has featured in 18 games across competitions, helping the side keep eight clean sheets. Ten Hag's side have lost just three times with the French defender featuring.
Ten Hag hints that Manchester United's Victor Lindelof could be used in defensive midfield
Lindelof came on in the second half of Manchester United's 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday (February 1). The victory sealed a 5-0 aggregate victory over Steve Cooper's side, sending Ten Hag's men to the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle United.
Fans were taken aback by Lindelof's appearance, as he played ten minutes in defensive midfield. Ten Hag has suggested that he may take the role on again during the campaign. He said (via UtdPlug):
“Lindelof was educated as a 6, as a control holding midfielder in Benfica. So I know he can do that. We already tried it before in training & maybe in one game. I also want my centre-halves playing sometimes in midfield positions."
Lindelof has struggled for game time this season amid Varane and Lisandro Martinez's glowing partnership.
The Swede has made 16 appearances but could be in line for a new defensive midfield opportunity. He has a year left in his contract at Old Trafford. Ten Hag reportedly rejected loan bids from Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid for the defender last month, per Fabrizio Romano.
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