Bayern Munich were unwilling to fork out €5 million (£4.5m) for Raphael Varane while he was on the books of Lens, according to Willy Sagnol, who was powerless to prevent Real Madrid from stealing the centre-back's signature.
Varane emerged as one of the brightest young talents in European football during his time at Lens, attracting the attention of Jose Mourinho at Santiago Bernabeu in the process.
The Portuguese manager managed to lure the Frenchman to Madrid in the summer of 2011, and Varane committed to a six-year contract with the club at the tender age of 18.
Varane has since racked up 301 appearances across all competition for Real, scoring 14 goals, while picking up 17 major honours in total.
Madrid have won four Champions League crowns and three La Liga titles with the World Cup winner marshalling the defence alongside Sergio Ramos, and the pair continue to perform at the highest level on a consistent basis to this day.
Sagnol was working as a scout at Bayern while Varane was rising through the ranks at Lens, and recalls being shot down by the club's board after recommending they try to sign the defender.
The former France right-back told RMC Sport: "When I was at Bayern, one day a friend called me and said 'you absolutely have to go to Lens to see a super interesting little player'.
"After just one half, I saw how mature he was at the time. He played as a defensive midfielder in the first half and was moved to central defence after the break.
"I had some connections in Lens and within 48 hours, I managed to get a price, with the added possibility to make a small friendly match with the receipts which would go to Lens. In all, his price would have gone up to between four and five million."
"When I gave the dossier to the sports management, I was told that it was still a bit expensive for an 18-year-old player.
"Two months later, 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 for a recruiter, failing to get management to understand these things is frustrating when you are sure you have a central defender who could have stayed at Bayern for 10 to 12 years!"