Real Madrid star Raphael Varane thinks Man Utd are a ‘big club’ as transfer interest grows

Real Madrid star Raphael Varane has become a priority transfer target for Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to succeed where his predecessors failed by snapping up the France international. So Express Sport will now take a look at what’s been said.

Varane confirmed Ferguson talks

Speaking in 2011, Varane confirmed he held talks with Sir Alex Ferguson about joining Manchester United.

However, the intervention of Zinedine Zidane – who was assistant to Jose Mourinho at the time – saw him move to the Bernabeu instead.

“Zidane called me and I asked him to call me back because I was studying for my baccalaureate,” he said.

“It’s my relaxed nature that made me react like that. You have to be care-free to deal with so many things at such a young age.

“But to be honest, after that call, my mind was elsewhere; it was hard to focus on revising!

“It was the craziest period of my life: I was getting ready for the baccalaureate, the phone was ringing off the hook, I visited the Real facilities, I met Alex Ferguson… Just imagine, I was doing exams and signing autographs for other students.

“It was surreal. I’m really proud of having passed.”

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Fergie wasn’t happy

After missing out on Varane in 2011, Ferguson was far from happy.

Writing in his autobiography, Leading, he said: “In 2011 I hurtled down to Lille.

“Zinedine Zidane got wind of this and somehow scooped him up for Real Madrid.”

The use of ‘somehow’ suggests he was dissatisfied at the way Real did things.

But their loss has been Los Blancos’ gain, with the centre-back helping his side dominate in recent years.

What about now?

While United want to sign Varane, Zidane recently made it clear he wants his compatriot to stay at the Bernabeu and sign a new contract.

“He is part of this club, and we were very lucky to be able to bring him to Madrid,” Zidane said.

“He has a great career, he’s achieved a lot since he’s been here. Of course, he is non-transferable for the club, for the coach that I am, for people in general.

“That’s clear and unambiguous. Now we can’t stop people from talking. They’re not just talking about Varane, but about all the players, Real Madrid ones and others.

“But for Varane, my position is clear, and it’s the same as the club’s position.”

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