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Why Raphael Varane only wanted to join Manchester United

Why Raphael Varane only wanted to join Manchester United

Raphael Varane was only prepared to leave Real Madrid to join Manchester United.

United announced on Tuesday night they had agreed a deal with Madrid for Varane, subject to a medical. The overall fee is believed to be £43million.

Varane, 28, is a boyhood United fan whose idol growing up was Rio Ferdinand and he almost joined the club from Lens 10 years ago before Madrid intervened. Club sources have confirmed Varane only wanted to join United.

The France international has agreed a four-year contract with the option of an additional year and Varane will travel to Manchester once he and his family have obtained visas.


It may take up to a week for the signing of Varane to be completed as he will have to quarantine following his arrival. As revealed by the Manchester Evening News on Monday, Varane has already agreed personal terms and just has to undergo a medical.

United have been firm admirers of Varane dating back to their attempt to sign him from Lens in 2011 and former manager Jose Mourinho explored the possibility of reuniting with a player he worked with for two years at Madrid.

The United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward suggested Varane as an ideal signing to Mourinho and was prepared to sanction a £100million move for the World Cup winner in 2018.

United sources believe Varane, also a four-time Champions League winner, will bring stature, experience and quality to a club without a trophy since 2017.

The United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is delighted with the addition of another elite centre-back, having signed Harry Maguire for £80m in 2019.

United have lost around £150m during the Covid-19 pandemic and had next to no matchday revenue for the last 16 months but have underlined their commitment to the team by investing in Varane and Jadon Sancho for up to £115.9m.

The relationship between Solskjaer, Woodward and football director John Murtough has been described as ‘key’ to the swift summer signings. Director of football negotiations Matt Judge negotiated the signings of Sancho and Varane.

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