Raphael Varane plays down Real Madrid exit rumours

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Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has rubbished claims he has grown frustrated with life at the Santiago Bernabeu after distancing himself from quotes previously accredited to him that implied a contract renewal for fellow centre-back Pepe would negatively impact his own future.

The recent interview with Surface magazine suggested that the France international would be unhappy if his Portuguese team-mate penned a new deal in the Spanish capital, however the 21-year-old insists he's been mistranslated and that he has no problem playing in Carlo Ancelotti's side.

Varane cleared up the confusion after speaking to reporters in the mixed zone following his 100th appearance for Real Madrid in last night's 2-0 Champions League last 16 first leg victory over Schalke in Gelsenkirchen, completely denying he ever made those remarks.

"That is a lie, I always say the same thing," he was quoted saying by Spanish publication Marca. "Competition is important for the team to improve. The competition I like and they are lies. It is a translation that was not good.

"The goal is always to play as normal. As I said, the competition is part of football and try to play as much as possible."

Varane has struggled for regular action this term as Ancelotti has preferred to pick Pepe and Sergio Ramos as his first-choice pairing in the middle of defence, leading to rumours of a possible summer exit.

According to the Daily Mirror, Manchester United and Chelsea have both been credited with an interest in acquiring the Frenchman's services, with a reported £25 million bid thought to be enough to convince Los Blancos to cash-in.

Jose Mourinho knows Varane well from his time in charge of Real Madrid, and has previously stated the stopper is one of the brightest young stars in all of Europe.

However, the recent rise of Kurt Zouma - who has impressed when deputising for Gary Cahill or John Terry this season - will give the Blues boss food for thought and could lead him to prioritise reinforcements in other areas of his Stamford Bridge squad in the summer.

Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal is known to be on the lookout for a new centre-back at Old Trafford, but the Red Devils' hopes of luring Varane to England have now been dealt a blow after his latest statement intimates a desire to continue fighting for his place in Madrid.

Staying put

The fact Varane signed a new contract back in September - which ties him to the club until 2020 - means that Real Madrid will be under no obligation to sell in the summer anyway, so Chelsea and Manchester United will be better off looking elsewhere if/when they decide to scan the market for a new defender.

Real Madrid fans: Do you think Carlo Ancelotti is right to keep picking Pepe and Sergio Ramos ahead of Raphael Varane? Will he still be at the Bernabeu next season? Share your thoughts below...

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