Erik ten Hag did not urge Raphael Varane to retire from international football

Erik ten Hag believes Raphael Varane’s retirement from international football is “good news” for Manchester United, although the manager stresses he did not urge the defender to make the big decision.

I mean, of course it is. How many injuries has Raphael Varane picked up whilst away with France since he joined Manchester United? The answer to that is too many.

Varane, 29, announced on Thursday that he has played his final game for France — in the 2022 World Cup final defeat against Argentina — after earning 93 caps throughout his career. The news will come as a blow for France, but United should gain from it.

The centre-back won the World Cup in 2018, so he can retire from international knowing he won the ultimate honour.

“For United, I think it’s good news,” Ten Hag told reporters with a smile on his face, as per the Manchester Evening News. “Rapha 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.”

When asked if he knew about Varane’s plans to retirement from international football, the manager added: “He gave me the information that he was intending to do this. I don’t discuss (it with him). Rapha is experienced, at an age he makes his own decision about that.

“I can only express my deep respect for his career until now. But still there is a lot to come, he is ambitious, he wants to win at Manchester United.”

Varane’s current deal at United runs until 2025, but United have an option to extend that by a further year.

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