Manchester United have missed out on signing Lens centre-back Raphael Varane after the French club confirmed the 18-year-old had joined Real Madrid.

26098 - United miss out on Varane

Varane, 18, was strongly linked with both Madrid and United this summer and Lens president Gervais Martel confirmed that an offer from Paris St Germain had been rejected.

However, it appears Lens - who will play in Ligue 2 next season - have now accepted an offer and Varane will be plying his trade at the Bernabeu.

"Even if we had stayed in Ligue 1, Raphael Varane would have left Lens as he is a phenomenon," Martel said at a meeting with the club's supporters. "He'll play for Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho's guidance. He has already met him, as well as meeting Zinedine Zidane.

"Raphael is an exceptional boy. I'm proud that he'll be wearing the Real colours. They have been following him for the last two months and we let him visit the club. He said he couldn't turn down the opportunity.

"The decision is not about money. I have to think about his career plans. He will be joining a club with a great sporting project. I'm sure he will find his way at the club."

Martel had previously indicated that Lens were demanding €10 million for Varane.