Arsene Wenger reveals Rafael Varane interest

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger stands dejected after the sending off of Laurent Koscielny against Man City on January 13, 2013
© PA Photos
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reveals that he could have signed Rafael Varane before he left Lens for Real Madrid in 2011.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he tried to sign Rafael Varane when he was still at Lens.

The 19-year-old joined Real Madrid from the French club in the summer of 2011 and has been in impressive form so far this season.

"He was at Lens and we might well have caught him there," he told Eurosport. "You have to ask yourself why this player is not playing for Arsenal.

"I'm happy for him because he's carving out a role at one of the world's best clubs. [Madrid coach Jose] Mourinho has chosen him to step in.

"It was a risk for Real Madrid to sign him at his age but, when you have such talent, you can overcome everything. His next challenge is managing the increased media exposure on him, especially now he is in the French national side."

Varane has featured in 20 matches in all competitions for Madrid this campaign.

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