Jose Mourinho will have to look elsewhere in his search for a new defender to bolster Chelsea's ranks after Raphael Varane this week extended his Real Madrid stay until 2020 and is set to celebrate his new deal with a first start of the season this weekend.
The Frenchman was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge throughout the summer but he has put those reports to bed by signing a new six-year deal that will put him alongside players such as Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos as the long-term future of the Spanish club.
Mourinho, who signed Varane from French club Lens while he was manager at the Bernabeu, hailed the 21-year-old as the "best young central defender in the world" during the summer, a hint that he could be set to give Varane more regular first-team action in the Premier League after Sergio Ramos and Pepe secured the centre-back slots for Madrid last season.
Varane, who made a name for himself with star performances in a two-legged Copa del Rey success against Barcelona under Mourinho, refused to pour cold water on the reports when asked about a move to London before the World Cup, saying "an interest in Chelsea? At this time, I am not thinking about any of that. There is a World Cup to prepare for, this is not the time to discuss these types of questions."
But the European champions confirmed Varane's extended stay at the club on Thursday, putting Chelsea's interest firmly to bed. "I'm really happy that I'm staying here," he said. "I thought about continuing with this club and with this contract I am now able to do that. I feel great and everyone has treated me very well, almost as if I were a youth academy player. It is a great honour and I am very fortunate to be able to wear this jersey”.
Varane, who starred for France in Brazil and made the three-man shortlist for the best young player in the competition, which was won by countryman Paul Pogba, is expected to be handed his first competitive start of the season when Madrid make the trip to face La Liga newboys Deportivo La Coruña on Saturday.
Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Portugal defender Pepe would be absent from the trip to Galicia and Varane is expected to be given the chance to cement a first-team role in his absence at the Riazor. The youngster came on as a substitute inn Tuesday's comfortable 5-1 thrashing of Basel in the Champions League but his last start for Los Blancos came in the Champions League final in Lisbon in May.
A knee injury forced him to miss the start of last season when reports suggested Ancelotti was going to make him a regular starter alongside Pepe, and not Ramos, but in his absence the pair cemented a strong partnership in the centre of a Madrid team that went on to win the Copa del Rey and a tenth European Cup. Although he featured in the 4-1 final victory over Atletico Madrid he made just 12 league appearances all season.
Chelsea and Manchester United had been linked with offering the young defender more first-team action in the Premier League this season but although yet to make a start for Madrid this season Ancelotti, and president Florentino Perez, see the player as a crucial cog in the future of the capital club.
Spain defender Dani Carvajal is set to return for Madrid against Deportivo as Ancelotti's men look to build on their midweek success against the Swiss champions and end a worrying run of back-to-back defeats in the league. Madrid have only kept two clean sheets in seven matches in all competitions so far this term and Ancelotti will be looking for big improvements at the back.
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