Raphael Varane explains why he rejected chance to join Man United last summer

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The constant reports linking with Raphael Varane with a move to Manchester United appear to be getting more tedious every year.

The Red Devils have been long-term admirers of the young centre-back ever since he burst onto the scene with Lens in 2010.

He joined Real Madrid less than a year later but has often had to be patient for his opportunities in the first team at the Bernabeu.

Varane's lack of playing time has given plenty of media organisations the idea he has been available to purchase, with Man United believed to be leading the chase for his signature.

Only yesterday there was a fresh report from Sky Sports claiming Jose Mourinho was interested in making another attempt to sign the defender he initially brought to Madrid.

Whether you believe the latest rumour or not is up to you, however, it is true the two parties held talks last summer.

And that has come straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, as Varane has explained why he rejected the chance to link up with Mourinho in 2016.

In an interview with L'Equipe, the 24-year-old revealed that only after discussions with the Madrid hierarchy had taken place did he actually decide to stay at the Bernabeu.

“I preferred to discuss with the leaders and the coach to know if they had confidence in me,” Varane said, as per Goal.

“They did, so I got my head down.”

Mourinho is usually pretty good at convincing players to join his teams but on this occasion, there was nothing he could do and United went on to sign Eric Bailly instead.

Meanwhile, Pepe's injury problems has allowed Varane to play a far more prominent role for Los Blancos this year - making 38 appearances so far.

And he believes his performances this season have proven the critics who thought he wasn't cut out for life at the La Liga giants wrong.

He added: "That's what some people thought and it motivated me.

“When you don't believe in me, I don't say anything but it titillates me. It takes a great strength of character to arrive at Real at eighteen years and make a journey like I have so far.”

The French international is expected to line up alongside Sergio Ramos as Zinedine Zidane's side try to become the first team to retain the Champions League later tonight.

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