Rio Ferdinand has told Raphael Varane he must prove he can deal with the rigours of the Premier League after an agreement was reached for the Frenchman to move to Old Trafford.

Having already confirmed the arrival of England forward Jadon Sancho - for £72.9 million from Borussia Dortmund - Manchester United continue to make moves in the market.

Indeed, they have agreed a near-€50million transfer fee with Spanish giants Real Madrid for Varane.

The 28-year-old, who has been identified and pursued as a long-term partner for Harry Maguire, is now set to deal with the necessary paperwork and undergo a medical.

A three-time La Liga champion who has four Champions League medals in the trophy cabinet, Varane is universally regarded as having been one of the world's best centre-backs for a decade.

However, while the World Cup-winning Frenchman is held in such regard, United great Ferdinand admits he wants to see if the inbound defender can cope with the 'up and at 'em' Premier League style.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, the former United captain said: "On paper it looks a very, very good combination [Maguire and Varane].

"But he's got to understand the English game is very different. You've got to go to Burnley and places like that.

"It can be up and at 'em, a different style of football in the Premier League to anything he's played in before. Can he deal with it? They're the questions he's going to get asked."

Ferdinand, who spent 12 years with United between 2002 and 2014, added: "Balls getting wrapped around his ear holes, crosses from different angles that he hasn't seen on a consistent basis in Spain, where they play more on the floor, slower football, slower build up.

"So he's going to be asked to defend in a different way - and that's where he’s going to have to show his real class, can he adapt? That's the real question.

"I genuinely believe he's got the tools to do that."


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