Manchester Untied transfer news: Raphael Varane turned down United in 2011 'because they had just signed Phil Jones'

United moved for Jones in a £17m deal three years ago that led Varane to head to Real Madrid after he turned down the Premier League club

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 14 October 2014 12:02 BST
Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane (Getty Images)

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has claimed that he rejected a move to Manchester United back in 2011 because they signed Phil Jones instead.

Varane has developed into one of the most highly rated defenders in Europe and at just 21 years old, he is likely to progress even further. Jose Mourinho is known to be a big fan of Varane’s talents, but it seems that he nearly joined Chelsea’s rival United only to turn down the move because they had just signed Jones in a £17m transfer from Blackburn Rovers.

Varane, who was at French side Lens at the time, had a number of clubs across Europe after his signature, but he eventually joined Real Madrid that summer.

When asked whether he was close to joining the club by French newspaper L’Equipe, Varane said: “Manchester United? They had just signed Phil Jones in my position.”

The France international, who played in all five of his country’s World Cup matches in Brazil last summer, also revealed that he had the chance to join Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, but revealed that it was the influence of Jose Mourinho that persuaded him to head to Spain.

“The project [at PSG] wasn't clear. The Qataris had only just arrived and it was all very vague,” Varane added.

“My first reaction when Real wanted to sign me was not, 'Of course I will go'. I only made my decision when I knew that the coach wanted me to play in the first team.”

Varane claims it was the arrival of Jones hat caused him to snub United (Getty Images)

Mourinho has also spoken this week on his belief that Varane will remain with Real for the foreseeable future despite his obvious interest in the centre-back.

“Everybody is talking about Varane coming to Chelsea because they know he is a player I like a lot but everybody knows that he will stay at Real Madrid,” Mourinho told Telefoot.

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