Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane explained his decision to reject the advances of Jose Mourinho and Manchester United in a recent interview.
Raphael Varane’s future was the subject of much speculation throughout the summer. The France international has managed a decent 53 Liga BBVA appearances over the past couple of seasons, but missed the club’s UnDecima triumph over Atletico Madrid and the Euro 2016 through injury.
The 23-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premier League ever since Jose Mourinho moved to England after his tenure at the Santiago Bernabeu. The link seemed valid as it was the Portuguese who had given Varane his first real breakthrough at Real Madrid.
Ever since Mourinho moved from London to Manchester, Varane was linked with a move to the Red Devils. Given their lack of quality centre-backs with the exception of Chris Smalling, these links seemed justified.
Manchester United signed Eric Bailly from La Liga, but the links to Varane continues, with reports that Jose Mourinho had personally requested the Frenchman to make the switch to Old Trafford. However, Varane reportedly turned down the request and decided to stay and fight for his place at Real Madrid.
The player spoke to Canal Plus while on international duty and confirmed Manchester United’s interest. The 23-year-old admitted to being flattered by the links but said that even though he respected the club and Jose Mourinho, the decision to stay at Real Madrid felt right.
Varane told Canal Plus (h/t Foot Mercato), “I have always felt good at Real Madrid. I looked at the pros and cons. It was a life decision in respect to my career. We are men and you must make decisions.
“Jose Mourinho is the one who made me come to Real Madrid and Manchester United is a great club. But from the moment I knew the project Real Madrid had for me there were no more questions.”
Varane has played the full 180 minutes of Real Madrid’s 2016-17 Liga BBVA campaign so far and seems to have impressed Zidane with his performances. The France international looks set to compete for a regular spot in the starting lineup this season under his compatriot while continuing his development.
One wonders if United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League was a deciding factor and if that indeed turns out to be the case, we may see the Red Devils trying to sign Varane next summer if they do qualify for the prestigious European competition.