Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane insists that star defender Raphael Varane is non-transferable amid links with Manchester United.
United have been long-term admirers of Varane and the Premier League giants are reportedly preparing an offer for the 27-year-old France international.
But Zidane dismissed speculation over Varane’s future at the Santiago Bernabeu, where the Frenchman has won three La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies among other honours since arriving in 2011.
“It’s not just me [who wants to keep him],” Zidane told reporters ahead of Saturday’s clash against Villarreal. “He is part of this club, we were very lucky to be able to bring him to Madrid.
“He has a great career, he’s achieved a lot since he’s been here. Of course, he is untransferable for the club, for the coach that I am, for people in general.
“That’s clear and unambiguous. Now we can’t stop people from talking. They’re not just talking about Varane, but about all the players, Real Madrid ones and others.
“But for Varane, my position is clear, and it’s the same as the club’s position.”
Varane has made seven La Liga appearances this term and 10 across all competitions for Spanish champions Madrid.
He has more clearances (27), headed clearances (13) and blocks (four) than superstar captain and team-mate Sergio Ramos in Spain’s top flight this season, while Varane has an 80 per cent tackle success rate and 30 duels won.
Ramos is, however, unavailable to face Villarreal having picked up an injury while on international duty with Spain. There were fears that Varane would also be missing, although he was included in Zidane’s squad for Saturday’s match.
Eden Hazard is also back in the squad after missing the 4-1 defeat to Valencia due to coronavirus, although Eder Militao, Karim Benzema and Casemiro are absent.
Madrid are fourth in the standings, four points adrift of leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand following the international break.
After beating Villarreal at Alfredo Di Stefano in July, Madrid could win two consecutive Liga games against Villarreal for the first time since September 2014.