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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Zinedine Zidane wants Raphael Varane to stay as 'the future' of Real Madrid

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol assesses the latest transfer rumours, but will Messi and Ronaldo head to China?

Zinedine Zidane has warned interested parties that Raphael Varane will be difficult to pry away from Real Madrid as the manager sees him as "the future of the club."

Varane, 22, has been linked to a move to Manchester United more heavily as reports of the Premier League side hiring Jose Mourinho heat up.

Mourinho was in charge of Real Madrid when the club bought Varane from Lens in 2011, and the French defender would be a likely target should he replace Louis van Gaal at Man United.

However, Real manager Zidane says he hopes Varane would stay at the Bernabeu.

Raphael Varane stood tall for Real in their scoreless Champions League quarterfinal first leg versus Atletico.
Raphael Varane will not be moving to Manchester United or anywhere else for a cut-rate price.

"Of course it is normal Mourinho would want to sign Raphael," he said.

"He knows him well, he brought him here to the club. But I want Varane to stay in Madrid. He is the future of the club."

Zidane also has the backing of club president Florentino Perez, who said last month that he sees Varane as Real's future captain.

"I am convinced that Varane will one day be captain of Real Madrid," Perez told France Football. "He is adored by the fans. Not only is he is a great player, he is also a great person."

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