Raphael Varane reveals how Sir Alex Ferguson tried to sign him for Manchester United – Manchester Evening News

Sir Alex Ferguson met Raphael Varane’s mother in an attempt to bring the defender to Manchester United ten years ago.

United wanted to sign Varane from Lens when he was 18 but the Real Madrid sporting director Zinedine Zidane telephoned Varane personally and persuaded him to move to Spain.

Varane was United’s principle defensive target that summer yet Ferguson had to settle with Phil Jones, a £16million addition from Blackburn Rovers.

Ferguson once remarked ‘the mother’s the secret in securing signings. “The mothers are always the strong [ones] in the family, without question. I say always, ‘Get the mother’.” The United great wrote about his failed pursuit of Varane in his 2015 book Leading and the Frenchman went into further detail now he is officially a United player.

“There had been a lot of rumours and a lot of people speaking about me and Manchester United since 2011, when Sir Alex Ferguson came to my mother’s house,” Varane told the club website. “When it was real (this year), that was when I spoke with my club, and I felt it was a real opportunity to play in the Premier League for Manchester United.

“I think it was a good moment [to move to United now] because of a lot of things, but I think the most important one is it’s a new challenge and it’s a big motivation to start in a new league in a big club like Manchester United.

“This opportunity was amazing for me, so I chose this change for me and my family. They have come with me. You feel when things are a good moment and this was the right moment.”

Ferguson wrote six years ago: “In 2011 I hurtled down to Lille. Zinedine Zidane got wind of this and somehow scooped him up.”

Varane’s eventual arrival at United could signal the end for Jones, who has not played for the club since January 26 2020.

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