Raphael Varane reveals he nearly joined Manchester United before Real Madrid
The former French international was a youth prodigy at RC Lens before moving to the Spanish giants in the summer of 2011 at the age of 18.
Varane slowly integrated himself there before becoming a regular starter and winning multiple trophies. He eventually signed for United in 2021 and has been one of the stars here.
Here’s what he said about being close to moving to England a decade ago (h/t Daily Mail):
“I was very close to coming here. I think we were agreed, Lens and Manchester, but then, I don’t know, I think Manchester changed their mind. Another opportunity would arrive and the Bernabeu wasn’t bad!
“I’ve spoken to Sir Alex Ferguson since I came here but not about what happened then, it is a long story and I didn’t want to say anything negative. I have too much respect for him.”
While the 29-year-old may have missed an opportunity to work with Sir Alex Ferguson, he has worked with some of the best managers in Madrid. He won his first trophy under Jose Mourinho there, the irony being the Portuguese was the last manager to have won silverware for United.
It may have worked out well because he matured in the Spanish capital and won everything before coming to Old Trafford. His quality and experience can be used to great effect here.
Varane’s first season at United was a tough one, but it had its caveats too. The team was underperforming under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
Since Erik ten Hag arrived in the summer though, the Frenchman has done well along with the team. He has been one of the best defenders in the league.
The multiple Champions League winner will play his first final in a United shirt later today against Newcastle United. He would hope to do well and help the club win their first silverware after a six-year gap.
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Varane’s experience of winning the big finals in his life will be key for the Red Devils on such a big occasion at Wembley.