Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Varane Could Have Joined United. If It Wasn't for Zidane

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Varane Could Have Joined United. If It Wasn't for Zidane

Article excerpt

RAPHAEL Varane has admitted he considered joining Manchester United last year.

Jose Mourinho beat United to sign Varane while he was Real Madrid coach in 2011 and the Portuguese was keen to reunite with the 24-year-old France international following his appointment as United manager.

However, Real coach Zinedine Zidane's influence helped convince Varane to stay.

"I preferred to discuss it with the leadership, the coach, to find out if they trusted me," Varane told L'Equipe. "As that was the case, I got my head down."

Zidane played a pivotal role in helping the 18-year-old Varane decide on joining Real over United from Lens six years ago.

"In 2011 I hurtled down to Lille," Sir Alex Ferguson wrote in his 2015 book, Leading. "Zinedine Zidane got wind of this and somehow scooped him up."

Varane was a boyhood United fan whose hero growing up was Rio Ferdinand but the club signed Phil Jones from Blackburn for £16million a fortnight before Varane sealed his move to Madrid. …

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