Raphael Varane happy at Real Madrid after talks with Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane says that Zinedine Zidane convinced him to stay at the Bernabeu this summer.

Varane, 23, has yet to displace senior centre-back pair Sergio Ramos and Pepe in the first team despite some excellent displays in recent seasons.

That led to speculation that the France international could join his former Madrid boss Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, with recent reports claiming the Portuguese is still looking for another central defender and remains interested in Varane.

Speaking in the mixed zone after Madrid's 5-3 Santiago Bernabeu trophy win over Stade de Reims on Tuesday, the player revealed how Zidane had given him assurances.

"I trust in the club, and the coach," Varane said. "I spoke a lot with [Zidane] and he trusts in me, that was one of my reasons to stay.

"I feel good here, everything is here to show my best, what I am capable of doing. I believe staying is the right thing to do. It was a good decision. I will keep improving. I want this to be a good season for me."

Varane has begun the 2016-17 season alongside Ramos at the back, as Pepe -- along with Portugal teammate Cristiano Ronaldo -- has only recently returned to training after an extended post-Euro 2016 break, and is not being considered for Sunday's La Liga opener at Real Sociedad.

Varane missed the Euros on home soil through injury.

"I'm really looking forward to the new season, there are many games, so we will need all the players," he said. "I want to leave behind last summer, which was difficult for me, not playing at the Euros. I want to look forward, get the best out of myself, and show my top level."

A change of shirt number, from his previous No. 2 to Zidane's old No. 5, may bring him more luck, Varane hoped.

"I wanted to change things a bit," he explained. "To begin with a new number, in the new season, with new things to play for. I want to enjoy it and it is like a new start for me."