Varane: “It’s not easy to turn down Jose Mourinho”

The young centre-back revealed to Canal Plus why he rejected a summer move to Old Trafford and discussed his future at Real Madrid.

Varane: “It’s not easy to turn down Jose Mourinho”

Raphaël Varane stayed at Real Madrid this summer despite the fact that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho had identified him as the ideal centre-back pairing for new signing Eric Bailly.

Varane is happy at Real Madrid

Considered by Mourinho a key component of his new-look United side, the 23 year-old decided to turn down the move in favour of staying at the Santiago Bernabéu. “I decided to stay because that’s what I want and because I’m happy here,” he told Canal Plus.

The Portuguese coach, who signed Varane from Lens back in 2011, was keen to reunite with the 23 year-old. Mourinho valued him so highly during his time at the Bernabéu that he dropped Pepe from the starting XI to make room for the young Frenchman. “[Pepe’s] problem has a name, and it is Raphaël Varane. It’s not easy for a 31 year-old man with experience to be run over by a 19 year-old,” he said back in 2013.

Jose Mourinho valued Raphael Varane highly during his time at Real Madrid and was keen on a reunion at Old Trafford.

"It's not easy to turn down Jose Mourinho"

Although tempted, Varane ultimately rejected United’s offer. “It’s not easy to turn down Jose Mourinho but you have to weigh up the pros and cons.,” he said. “We’re men, we have to make decisions and that’s just the way it is. Manchester United are a very big club but Madrid and I are in sync on my project and there’s not much else to say.

The centre-back also spoke about his relationship with Zinedine Zidane and the importance of gaining his trust. He said: “His trust and support is really important to me and from the moment he told me that I was an important player for him there wasn’t much more to say.”