Lens president Gervais Martel has confirmed that defender Rafael Varane will join Real Madrid.

Martel, whose club was demoted to the second division for next season, told Lens supporters that they shouldn't bemoan Varane's departure as he would have left even if the team had stayed in the top flight ''because he is phenomenal.''

The 18-year-old central defender was also courted by Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain but Martel says ''I will be proud to see him play in Real colors.''

Varane has already met Madrid coach Jose Mourinho and Zinedine Zidane, who acts as an adviser to the club's president.

According to L'Equipe newspaper, the clubs have agreed a ?10 million fee and Varane will sign a five-year contract on Monday.