Despite heavy interest from Jose Mourinho in bringing him to Manchester United this summer, Raphael Varane has rejected his former boss’ advances and will stay at Real Madrid.
Few defenders have shown as much potential as the Frenchman, who was signed by Mourinho during his stint in charge of Los Blancos when he was just 18-years-old in 2011. While current coach Zinedine Zidane rates him extremely highly, the defender found himself as third choice centre-back last term, behind Pepe and captain Sergio Ramos.
The Madrid boss had a personal conversation with Varane and told him that he will be given more opportunity to make his mark next season. Madrid convinced him that the time is not right for him to leave, rather that he should not consider that option as of yet.
Injury has hampered Varane’s progress and also ruled him out of Euro 2016 in his homeland this summer. That hasn’t stopped three Premier League clubs – including United – making moves for him.
Some of the offers – of up to €40 million – have been tempting, but Varane has stayed firm and will remain at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for at least one more year. Now 23, Varane is edging closer to his peak years and will want to play regular football sooner rather than later, which is why he has used his summer break to work hard in order to become Ramos’ immovable partner.
The Old Trafford club have undergone a transformation following the appointment of the Portuguese boss this summer, recruiting central defender Eric Bailly from Villarreal, attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and talismanic Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic to improve the team’s weak spine.
However, the former Lens defender is reportedly willing to fight for his place in the first team here in Madrid, despite healthy competition from fellow defenders Ramos, Pepe and Nacho Fernández.