Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane reportedly convinced French international centre-back Raphael Varane from leaving Los Blancos for Manchester United over the summer.
Varane, 23, was reportedly offered €10 million a season to play for Jose Mourinho at United, double his Real Madrid salary, which is believed to be worth around €5 million a season according to the International Business Times.
Mourinho has been a big fan of Raphael Varane for several years now, and signed the 23-year-old from Lens back in the summer of 2011 for €10 million. Varane made just 15 appearences for the Portuguese manager in his first year at the club, but progressively played more under Mourinho in his second year playing 33 times in his second campaign with the Galacticos.
Over the past few seasons, Varane has been repeatedly linked with rejoining Mourinho at Stamford Bridge during his time there as Chelsea manager, and reports emanating from Spain suggest that Varane was actually Mourinho’s first transfer target when he was announced as Manchester United boss.
According to Spanish Journalist Paco Gonzalez, Mourinho reportedly called Varane in an attempt to bring him to Manchester United. Varane declined Mourniho’s invitation, and said that it was a conversation with Zinedine Zidane that convinced the Frenchman to stay in the Spanish capital.
“I trust in the club, and the coach,” said Varane via ESPNFC. “I spoke a lot with [Zidane] and he trusts in me, that was one of my reasons to stay.”
“I feel good here, everything is here to show my best, what I am capable of doing. I believe staying is the right thing to do. It was a good decision. I will keep improving. I want this to be a good season for me.”
“I’m really looking forward to the new season, there are many games, so we will need all the players.
“I want to leave behind last summer, which was difficult for me, not playing at the Euros. I want to look forward, get the best out of myself, and show my top level.”
Varane also interestingly changed his squad number from ‘2’ to Zidane’s historic number ‘5’. The Lille native will once again be challenging club captain Sergio Ramos and Pepe for a place in Madrid’s starting XI.