Manchester United signs Raphaël Varane; thumps Leeds United as Bruno Fernandes scores hat-trick

Manchester United signs Raphaël Varane; thumps Leeds United as Bruno Fernandes scores hat-trick
ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester United paraded new signing Raphaël Varane before its match against Leeds United at Old Trafford on Saturday and then treated the French international to an impressive win in its first match of the new Premier League season.

Varane, who has joined the Manchester club from Real Madrid until June 2025 in a deal reportedly worth $57 million, was introduced to United’s fans ahead of the 5-1 victory over Leeds, with Bruno Fernandes scoring a hat-trick.

Mason Greenwood and Brazilian Fred scored the other goals for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

Early in the second half Luke Ayling’s superb long-range shot drew Leeds level, but three goals in eight minutes turned the game United’s way in front of over 70,000 fans at Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba assisted four of United’s five goals with another new signing Jadon Sancho, who joined from Borussia Dortmund in a $100 million transfer, coming on as a second-half substitute.

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‘Unique defender’

The 28-year-old Varane, who has played 79 times for France, was described by United as one of “the most decorated players in world football and has amassed over 19 trophies in his career so far, including four Champions Leagues, three Spanish titles and the 2018 World Cup.”

“Manchester United is one of the most iconic clubs in world football and the chance to come here and play in the Premier League is something I couldn’t turn down,” Varane told the United website.

“There is a lot more that I want to achieve in my career and I know I’m joining a squad full of great players who will all have the same determination to win matches and trophies,” added Varane.

“I want to make an impact here and I will give everything to become part of this club’s illustrious history.”

United manager Solskjaer said Varane was a “unique defender.”

“We have great depth of international defenders and he will add his immense skill set and leadership to that group,” added Solskjaer.

Last season, United finished second in the Premier League behind champion Manchester City.

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