West Bromwich Albion almost signed France’s World Cup star Raphael Varane according to a tweet from their former head coach Steve Clarke’s son John.

While most fans have been going mad over the incredible performances that Kylian Mbappe have put in on their way to the World Cup final, one thing that must be mentioned is their fantastic defence. In their semi-final game against Belgium, it was their defence that had to be praised as it was able to neutralise a formidable attacking force which included world-class players such as Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. And a lot of that praise had to go to defender Raphael Varane.

While Varane has been linked with reports to England, he is yet to play in this country. He came through the Lens youth system before being signed by Real Madrid where he has now made over 100 appearances for the club. However, while he is an integral part of the team and is likely to remain one of their star men for years to come, there were times where he struggled to get into their first team.

And that’s where he could have moved to West Brom. Seemingly back in the 2012/13 season, as John Clarke says this deal almost happened in the same season Lukaku was at the club, West Brom had been very close to signing Varane on loan for the season. It would have only been a temporary deal like Lukaku’s but it still has a case of what might have been considering how well he has done since.

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