France boss Didier Deschamps has provided an update on the fitness of Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane.
As reported in Sport Witness, Deschamps is hopeful of having the defender available for Les Bleus’ first game of the tournament.
Since Varane hobbled off in tears at Stamford Bridge last month, it looked touch and go as to whether he would make the World Cup squad.
However, the injury was not as bad as first feared and Deschamps has confirmed that he expects Varane to be available for France’s Group D opener against Australia.
“He’s good. He’s in a good headspace and has good feelings. He is meant to be available for the first game,” said Deschamps.
The French manager then announced that Varane is back in training but does have some steps to take before he can declare himself fully fit.
“He’s in his protocol. He’s increased his athletic work. He’s touched the ball again. He’ll do so again today. He still has some steps to take before Thursday,” the manager added.
Deschamps’ side are amongst the favourites for the tournament and Varane will be expected play a key role at the heart of the French defence.
The 29-year-old hasn’t played for United since the draw at Chelsea but will be delighted to know that he’s on course to help France defend their World Cup crown.
After a tricky debut season at United, Varane has struck up an excellent relationship with Lisandro Martinez this year, with the pair impressing throughout the campaign.
The former Real Madrid man has looked every inch the world class defender United invested in and Erik ten Hag will be desperate that the Frenchman can return from Qatar injury-free.
France kick off their World Cup campaign a week from today (22nd November), against Australia, in Al-Wakrah.