Man Utd boss Ten Hag promises he did not urge Varane to quit France

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Erik ten Hag believes Manchester United can only benefit from Raphael Varane retiring from international football after his distinguished France career.

The defender announced on Thursday he has pulled the plug on his time with Les Bleus, after winning 93 caps in a 10-year stint, landing World Cup glory in 2018 along the way.

The former Real Madrid centre-back, who joined United 18 months ago, featured in six of France's games at the recent World Cup in Qatar, where they were beaten on penalties by Argentina in the final.

At the age of 29, he could realistically have targeted another World Cup campaign, but Varane decided the time was right to let the new generation have its turn.

United manager Ten Hag praised his player's decision and stressed he had no input into Varane's thought process before the decision was revealed.

"For United, I think it's good news," Ten Hag told a United press conference on Friday.

"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.

"He gave me the information that he was intending to do this. I didn'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 there is a lot to come."