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13th Feb 2016

Zinedine Zidane is already talking about Jose Mourinho as if he was Manchester United manager

A penny for LVG's thoughts

Mikey Stafford

Typical, isn’t it?

You go to the bother of drawing up a speculative shopping list of footballers to buy for the club where you’re not yet manager and one of the greatest players of all time throws a spanner in the works.

Zinedine Zidane has hit Jose Mourinho with a metaphorical headbutt in the solar plexus by telling him to keep his paws off Raphael Varane.

The classy Real Madrid defender – signed by Mourinho from Lens in 2011 – is coveted by the Portuguese, who for some reason thinks the France international would do a better job alongside Chris Smalling than Phil Jones.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

But Madrid manager Zidane has explicitly told Mourinho that Varane is not for sale as “he is the future of the club”.

“Of course it is normal Mourinho would want to sign Raphael,” Zidane said ahead of Saturday’s La Liga clash with Athletic Bilbao, “He knows him well, he brought him here to the club.”

The 22 year old has 26 caps for France already and is developing into one of Europe’s top central defenders, so Zidane’s feelings are not surprising.

What is more surprising is the idea that the manager of Real Madrid is already discussing potential transfer coups by Manchester United manager Mourinho… while Louis van Gaal is still very much in the job.