Manchester United have tried to sign Raphael Varane before as the defender opens up Sir Alex Ferguson’s previous attempt.

Raphael Varane has had a distinguished career at Real Madrid, winning the La Liga on multiple occasions while lifting the Champions League title four times during his stay. In between, he helped France win the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, becoming one of the best central defenders in modern football.

He has never fallen short of admirers, especially from the Premier League, although he chose to stay at the Spanish capital over the years. However, he has finally moved sides and joined long-term admirers Manchester United, and was unveiled in style in front of nearly 75,000 people before his new side beat Leeds United 5-1.

Sir Alex Ferguson, United’s legendary manager, tried hard to persuade Varane to join the club back in 2011. The then 18-year old defender use to ply his trade in France with RC Lens. The new Red Devils star opened up on his encounter with Ferguson and has revealed how the manager tried to convince his mother for the move.

Despite the chatter, Varane would listen to the words of legendary France star Zinedine Zidane, who was then the director at Real Madrid and move to Spain. Ferguson would instead sign Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers in a £16 million deal, even though Varane was his principal defensive target that summer.

Varane opened up on the encounter to Manchester United’s official site, while Manchester Evening News published quotes from Ferguson’s book, which spoke about the Varane deal.

Varane said, “There had been a lot of rumours and a lot of people speaking about me and Manchester United since 2011 when Sir Alex Ferguson came to my mother’s house. When it was real (this year), that was when I spoke with my club, and I felt it was a real opportunity to play in the Premier League for Manchester United,” he said.

“I think it was a good moment [to move to United now] because of a lot of things, but I think the most important one is it’s a new challenge, and it’s a big motivation to start in a new league in a big club like Manchester United. This opportunity was amazing for me, so I chose this change for my family and me. They have come with me. You feel when things are a good moment, and this was the right moment.”

The quotes from Ferguson’s book six years ago spoke briefly about the Varane chase, where the former Manchester United manager wrote, “In 2011 I hurtled down to Lille. Zinedine Zidane got wind of this and somehow scooped him up.”

Ironically, Varane’s arrival will mark the end of Jones’ long career at Manchester United.

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