Raphael Varane reveals Sir Alex Ferguson came to his house to sign him at 18 before Zidane convinced him to snub Man Utd
3rd December 2021

SIR ALEX FERGUSON once pitched up at a young Raphael Varane’s house to convince him to sign for Manchester United.

And the then-18-year-old was ‘very, very interested’ in making the move to Old Trafford from boyhood club Lens.

But a phone call from the great Zinedine Zidane soon changed that, with the France legend convincing him Real Madrid should be his preferred destination.

Varane told the Telegraph about Ferguson’s visit: “It was a shock. To be honest, I was waiting in my house and looking out of the window to see if he was really coming. 

“When he came, I didn’t speak English. My mum speaks perfect English, so she was the person who spoke more with him. 

“It was a discussion about how he saw me, how he could have a project with me and how he could help me to grow as a person and player. 

"It was very, very interesting and a very big experience for me.”

Varane eventually signed for Madrid rather than United – but then moved to Old Trafford in a £41million deal this summer.


And things could have been very different if the decorated centre-back had continued to ignore Zidane’s calls – because he couldn’t believe what was happening to him.

He said: “Zizou called me and the transfer accelerated very quickly. I went to Madrid, I spoke with (Jose) Mourinho, I went back to France and then I took the Baccalaureate exam the day after I saw Mourinho. 

“It was a crazy moment of my life. I was playing with the first team at Lens and the club knew I had to be sold. So a lot of agents called me. 

“I was very tired because there were a lot of things to do and to think about. 

“So when Zizou first called me, I was really busy and I didn’t know it was him at the beginning.

"When I recognised him, I was in shock. It was crazy, so I asked him to call me back!”

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