Raphael Varane has opened up on the qualities of his defensive partners and relationship with Manchester United captain Harry Maguire.

The French defender has missed United's last five with a hamstring injury after limping off in the 2-2 draw with Atalanta at the beginning of November.

Prior to that, his presence in the Reds defence had been felt as he has shored up proceedings. But his absence has been crucial as he missed the 4-2 defeat to Leicester City, the mauling at the hands of Liverpool as well as the disappointment against Manchester City and Watford.

He had the chance to move to Old Trafford in 2011 but opted for Madrid where he enjoyed a fruitful decade.

Varane eventually made the move to United in the summer and has endured an eventful four months in Manchester where he has suffered injuries and saw the manager that brought him to the Premier League sacked after a poor run.

When he has featured, he has partnered the Reds skipper, Maguire, who has come under fire this season for his defensive displays, but the 28-year-old believes their strengths go hand-in-hand.

"We have complementary qualities,” he told The Telegraph.

“I like to protect the back of the defence and he likes to go [slaps hands] in the contact. So we can do both, but, obviously, because of our characteristics we prefer some situations and that's why we are complementary.

"We can also play with Victor, Eric or Phil, who have their own qualities, so there are many options.”

Ralf Rangnick looks set to be without the Champions League-winning defender until mid-December as the German takes charge of his first game against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

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