'It's a long story!' - Raphael Varane was 'very close' to joining Man Utd as a teenager & Sir Alex Ferguson has explained why the move collapsed
- Varane close to joining Man Utd in 2011
- Club held talks with Lens over Varane's transfer
- Defender later joined Real Madrid
WHAT HAPPENED? Graduating from Lens' academy in 2010, Varane spent one season with the club's senior side. After impressing, United expressed interest in him and had initiated talks with Lens. Eventually, though, the deal did not materialise, with Varanae joining Real Madrid, playing there until 2021 where he won five Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to Daily Mail, Varane said: "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."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The former France international joined the Red Devils in 2021 from Real Madrid for €47 million (£40m/$55m) and has become a mainstay in their backline.
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WHAT NEXT FOR RAPHAEL VARANE? Varane will be next seen in action on Sunday when Erik ten Hag's side face Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final.