MX23RW : Sunday, September 23 12:39:51

Phil Jones stopped Raphael Varane from joining Manchester United

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane reveals that he rejected the chance to join Manchester United in 2011 because they had recently signed Phil Jones.

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has revealed that he was deterred from signing for Manchester United by Phil Jones.

Jones moved to Old Trafford from Blackburn Rovers in June 2011. Several of Europe's top clubs, including United and Paris Saint-Germain, had expressed an interest in signing Varane from Lens at that time before he opted to join Madrid.

The France international says that he rejected a move to United because of Jones's recent arrival.

Varane told L'Equipe: "Manchester United? They had just signed Phil Jones in my position.

"PSG? The project there wasn't clear. The Qataris had only just arrived and it was all very vague.

"My first reaction when Real wanted to sign me was not, 'Of course I will go'. I only made my decision when I knew that the coach wanted me to play in the first team."

Cheslea boss Jose Mourinho, who was the coach that signed Varane for Madrid, has said this week that he is an admirer of the centre-back.

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Raphael Varane of Real Madrid CF heads the ball beside Ragnar Sigurdsson of FC Copenhagen during the UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid CF and FC Copenhagen at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 2, 2013
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