Missing out on Raphael Varane was one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s late regrets as Manchester United boss.

United wanted to sign Varane in 2011 from Lens, with The Guardian reporting at the time that the club were ‘poised’ to complete a move.

Then Real Madrid stepped in and Varane’s head was turned. United ended up signing Phil Jones instead.

While Jones’ career started off promisingly at United and has gradually got worse, Varane has been getting better and better.

Real Madrid v Atalanta Bergamo - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

United would be signing a better player 10 years on in 2021 than the club would have landed in 2011.

RMC Sport report United are pushing hard to try and sign Varane this summer, who has just one year remaining on his Real deal.

Star defender United need

Varane’s start for Real Madrid was an inconsistent one. He made only nine La Liga appearances in his debut season.

He followed this up with just 15 La Liga appearances in 2012/13 and 14 in 2013/14 as a combination of selection preferences and injuries held him back.

Pepe’s presence in the Real defence meant Varane had to work hard to break into the team, and in the long run, he was better for it.


After starting the 2014 Champions League final over Pepe, Varane has gone onto establish himself as a key player at Madrid, and he has held up well with injuries.

In 10 years at Real Madrid, Varane has played more than 30 La Liga games just three times – and each of these have been in the past three consecutive seasons.

United moving for Varane now would be perfect. At just 28, Varane still has several good years ahead of him, and he has passed the early difficult spell of his career which saw him have to learn to adjust to playing for a top club.

Varane would be able to come into United right away and make an immediate impact.

He is a confident defender, strong in the air, who anticipates danger and is also comfortable passing the ball out from the back.

Over the years he has amassed a huge amount of silverware, playing a part in four Champions League wins.

United can offer Varane a new challenge, and a top class defensive partner to play alongside, Harry Maguire.

Maguire has proven himself on the international stage at the 2018 World Cup and at Euro 2020 and Varane should welcome the opportunity to forge one of Europe’s best defensive partnerships.

France v Germany - UEFA Euro 2020: Group F
(Photo by Alex Grimm – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Raphael Varane: Factfile

  1. Teenage star

    Real Madrid signed Raphael Varane from Lens in 2011 for around £8 million, beating competition from Manchester United and Arsenal.

  2. Real Madrid ace

    Varane has gone onto play more than 300 games for Real Madrid over the past decade. He has played a part in three La Liga title wins.

  3. Four-time Champions League winner

    Varane won his first Champions trophy at Real Madrid in 2014, playing the entire game in a win over Atletico. He won the trophy again in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

  4. World Cup winner

    Varane helped France to win the World Cup in 2018. He scored a crucial goal in a quarter-final win over Uruguay.

  5. Consistent performer

    Varane became a player Real could rely on. He played more than 30 La Liga games in each of the last three La Liga seasons.

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