Lucas Hernandez says he turned down interest from Real Madrid in the past before jumping at the chance to sign for Bayern Munich. The Bavarians broke their transfer record when signing the France international from Atletico Madrid for £70million in the summer, but it would have been different had Real had their way.
However, having played for Madrid rivals Atletico, the 23-year-old says there is no way he could have made the switch to the Bernabeu. He stayed where he was and eventually Bayern came in to complete the deal. “Real had already made a move for me, it’s true, but not this summer,” he told France Football. “And I wouldn’t go there. Not after having worn the colours of Atletico for such a long time.”
Meanwhile, Hernandez has also revealed the lengths that Bayern went to to ensure they got him on board, even bringing Philipp Lahm’s 21 shirt out of retirement for him. “When we were in discussions, they asked me what number I wanted. I told them I would have 21,” he added.
“I won the World Cup with the No.21. At Atletico, when I took the No.21, we won the European Super Cup. I told them that this was the number I wanted and, if they could give me it, that would be good. “They told me that was Philipp Lahm’s number and that no-one had worn it since he had retired, but they told me they’d give me it if I signed for them. It’s just one example of the confidence that they’ve placed in me.”