Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho: Manchester United could have signed Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane in 2011

Raphael Varane Madrid

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims that Manchester United could have signed Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane when he was still at Lens.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed how Manchester United came close to signing Raphael Varane back in 2011.

The France international moved to Real Madrid from Lens in the summer of 2011 when Mourinho was in charge of the Spanish giants.

The Portuguese boss has now claimed that the youngster, who played for France at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in the summer, could have joined United had Madrid not made a move quickly three years ago.

'I was on holiday and in Madrid’, Mourinho told Telefoot, according to The Daily Mail. ‘Zinedine Zidane arrived with a DVD and I thought: That player, with two years' work with us, would be fantastic.

‘Varane had one foot at Manchester United, but Real Madrid are very strong and Rapha came to us. I like Varane, but everybody knows that he will stay at Real Madrid’.

Mourninho has never attempted to eclipse his admiration for Varane, once describing the Frenchman as ‘the best young central defender in the world’.

There was speculation on the future of Varane in the summer, with Chelsea linked with a move for the 21-year-old. The highly-rated centre-back eventually signed a new contract with Madrid that will see him remain at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2020.

It’s very unlikely that either Chelsea or United will get to sign Varane anytime soon.

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