Missing out on Raphael Varane was one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s final regrets as Manchester United manager.

United wanted to sign Varane from Lens in 2011, with The Guardian reporting at the time that the club was “ready” to make a move.

Then Real Madrid stepped in and Varane’s head was turned. United signed Phil Jones instead.

As Jones’ career at United got off to a promising start and gradually deteriorated, Varane got better and better.

(Photo by David S. Bustamante / Soccrates / Getty Images)

United would sign a better player in 2021 10 years later than they would have landed in 2011.

RMC Sport report that United are working hard this summer to sign Varane, who has just one year left on his Real Madrid deal.

Star defender United needs

Varane’s start for Real Madrid has been mixed. In his debut season, he only played nine La Liga games.

He followed with just 15 La Liga games in 2012/13 and 14 in 2013/14 due to a combination of selection preferences and injuries holding him back.

Pepe’s presence in Real defense meant Varane had to work hard to break into the team and in the long run he was better at it.

After starting the 2014 Champions League final against Pepe, Varane established himself as a key player at Madrid and has held up well with injuries.

In 10 years at Real Madrid, Varane has played just three more than 30 La Liga games – each in the last three consecutive seasons.

United’s move for Varane would be perfect. Varane has a few good years to go at just 28, and he has come through the difficult early phase of his career learning how to adapt to playing for a top club.

Varane could join United in an instant and make an immediate difference.

He is a confident, airy defender who anticipates dangers and also comfortably fits the ball out from behind.

Over the years he has amassed a huge amount of silverware and has been involved in four Champions League victories.

United can offer Varane a new challenge and a first class defensive partner to play alongside, Harry Maguire.

Maguire has proven himself on the international stage at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 and Varane should welcome the opportunity to forge one of the best defensive partnerships in Europe.

(Photo by Alex Grimm – UEFA / UEFA via Getty Images)

Raphael Varane: fact file

  1. Teenage star

    Real Madrid signed Lens Raphael Varane in 2011 for around £ 8m, beating rivals Manchester United and Arsenal.

  2. Real Madrid ace

    Varane has played more than 300 games for Real Madrid in the last decade. He has been involved in three La Liga titles.

  3. Four-time Champions League winner

    Varane won his first Champions trophy at Real Madrid in 2014 and played the entire game in one win against Atletico. In 2016, 2017 and 2018 he won the trophy again.

  4. World cup winner

    Varane helped France win the world title in 2018. He scored a crucial goal in the quarter-final win against Uruguay.

  5. Constant performer

    Varane became a player Real could rely on. He has played more than 30 La Liga games in the last three La Liga seasons.

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