Manchester United tried to sign Raphael Varane before he joined Real Madrid in 2011, according to the player himself.
After reports emerged that quoted Jose Mourinho as saying that several clubs were keen on Varane when he was Real Madrid boss, Varane himself has now come out and confirmed that Manchester United were one of the teams.
But the £25m-rated French international said that he wasn't interested in signing for United as they had just bought Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers. That will be tough to take for United fans, as Varane has gone on to become one of the best young defenders in the world.
When asked about his decision to move to Real Madrid, Varane said, as reported by the Daily Mail: "Manchester United? They had just signed Phil Jones in my position. PSG? The project there wasn't clear. The Qataris had only just arrived and it was all very vague.
"My first reaction when Real wanted to sign me was not, 'Of course I will go'. I only made my decision when I knew the coach wanted me to play in the first team."
To Real Madrid
Varane joined Real Madrid from Lens, and despite injury troubles, has established himself as a top prospect. Already a French international, Mourinho revealed earlier this week that Varane had 'one foot in Manchester United' before signing for the La Liga giants instead.
Zinedine Zidane played a key role in convincing Varane to scrap a move to United and join Real Madrid, as the legendary Frenchman had a behinds-the-scenes role at the Bernabeu at the time.
Varane v Jones
Varane has 14 caps for France and has made 71 appearances for Real Madrid since his move in 2011. Phil Jones, who was signed at a similar time by Sir Alex Ferguson, has made 73 Premier League appearances for Manchester United although he has struggled with injury.