Agent of ‘new Makelele’ explains Manchester United snub

by Tom Parker

Nampalys Mendy’s agent has revealed the reasons behind his decision to sign for Nice amid interest from plenty of European clubs.

Manchester United were interested in securing the highly rated 21-year-old on a free transfer from Monaco but Mendy chose to stay in France in order to make sure his game time was maximised.

“There was no point in rushing to go abroad or to a big French club,” said Yacine Ayad.

“We left Monaco to play football, not to get a larger pay cheque. OGC Nice was a footballing decision.

Mendy had appeared likely to join United on a free transfer from Monaco after his contract expired amid fears his role would be marginalised as the club pursued and acquired some of the most exciting talent in European football.

And given United’s public pursuit of central midfield reinforcements, the deal appeared to make sense.

The 21-year-old, who made 80 appearances for Monaco over the past three seasons, has been likened to defensive midfield great Claude Makelele and it is a shame that United couldn’t lure him across the pond.

But it is extremely refreshing to see that there are still footballers out there who are not simply in it for the money and would rather take a less lucrative offer in order to help their career.

The midfielder would likely have been a squad player if had he joined United. He’s certainly a good prospect but probably wouldn’t have been ready for a starting berth, hence a move to Nice where he can develop.

United appear to be more focused on snaring Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona to reinforce an ailing engine room from the outset, but there is little doubting Mendy would have been a solid acquisition with a natural ball-winning midfielder distinctly lacking from the current squad.

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