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Manchester United target Raphaël Varane drops transfer hint

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Real Madrid centre-back Raphaël Varane could soon be on his way out of the Bernabéu.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Real Madrid defender Raphaël Varane has spoken out about his lack of football at the Santiago Bernabéu this season. The 23-year-old Frenchman has rather pointedly declared that a "footballer needs to play", having recently lost his place in the Merengues' first team to Pepe. Quoted in the Manchester Evening News, Varane told AFP:

"Until November I played in almost every game. I'm at a crucial stage in the season. I know my qualities and I know what I'm capable of doing. But it's true there have been a few unusual mistakes. I think a footballer needs to play to thrive and to feel important. This is true for all players. I try to keep working every day to improve."

Clearly Varane is one of the top defenders in world football at the moment, and with Pepe now 33 years old, Madrid will surely see the Frenchman as the long-term option. It's more than likely that this quote is just Varane trying to apply a little pressure on the club's hierarchy in a bid to guarantee a better contract.

However, it wouldn't be a surprise if United were sniffing around, with Daley Blind and Chris Smalling clearly not a viable defensive partnership. Varane would be an outstanding signing, though don't hold out much hope.