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World-class 23-year-old French international admits ‘wasn’t easy’ to turn down Mourinho and Manchester United

Real Madrid defender Rafael Varane has conceded that it was a difficult decision to turn down a move to Manchester United this summer.

The French international was a target for his former boss in the transfer window, but he opted to remain in the Spanish capital with Zinedine Zidane’s men.

Jose Mourinho played a key role in Varane’s development after the latter’s arrival in Madrid in 2011, and although a reunion with the Portuguese tactician was tempting, he remains content with life with the La Liga giants.

“Of course it’s flattering. Manchester United are a very big club. But from the moment when Madrid and I are in sync on my project, there’s no questions to ask yourself,” Varane said, as noted by ESPN FC.

“I have always said I feel good in Madrid. It’s not easy to say ‘No’ to Jose Mourinho, but you have to weigh up the pros and the cons. We’re men, we have decisions to make and that’s how it is.”

The 23-year-old is under contract with Real until 2020, and so any move from United in January or next summer will likely be met with the same response from the club and player.

Mourinho signed Eric Bailly from Villarreal as part of his early recruitment drive, but further defensive reinforcements could be on the agenda moving forward.

Having missed Euro 2016 earlier this summer through injury, Varane will undoubtedly be desperate to re-establish himself as a key figure for both club and country, as he has now started both of Real’s league games so far this season as well as helping them win the UEFA Super Cup.

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