The former France international laments on his failed attempts to convince the German champions to bring in his fellow countryman.
Bayern Munich were unwilling to fork out €5 million for Raphael Varane while he had been on the novels of Lens, based on Willy Sagnol, who was powerless to prevent Real Madrid from stealing the centre-back’s trademark.
Varane emerged as one of the brightest young talents in European soccer during his time at Lens, bringing the attention of Jose Mourinho at Santiago Bernabeu in the process.
The Portuguese manager was able to lure the Frenchman to Madrid in the summer of 2011, also Varane committed to a live-in contract with the club at the tender age of 18.
Varane has since racked up 301 looks across all competition for Real, scoring 14 goals, while picking up 17 major honours in total.
Sagnol was working as a scout at Bayern while Varane was climbing through the ranks at Lens and remembers being shot down by the club’s board after recommending they try to sign the defender.
The former France right-back told RMC Sport: “Once I was at Bayern, 1 day a friend called me and said’you have to go to Lens to see a super interesting little player’.
“After just one half, I watched how old he was at the moment. He performed a defensive midfielder in the first half and has been moved to central defence after the rest.
“I had a few relations in Lens and within 48 hours, I was able to receive a cost, with the added chance to make a small friendly game with the receipts which would go to Lens. In all, his price could have gone up to between four and five thousand.”
“When I gave the dossier to the director of the sport, I had been told that it was still a bit pricey for an 18-year-old player.
“Two months after, he left for Real for ten million. Varane has no regrets about going to Madrid at all, I’m sure he’s super happy, but to get a recruiter, neglecting to get direction to know these things is frustrating when you are sure that you get a central defender who could’ve remained in Bayern for 10 to 12 years!”