Eric Bailly has revealed he rejected all approaches from City to join Manchester United after having no second thoughts about playing for Jose Mourinho.
The Ivorian defender became Mourinho’s first summer in a big move from La Liga side Villareal and has subsequently been joined by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Speaking to The Times, Bailly admitted City approached him over the phone and Yaya Toure tried to persuade him to join but all of those advances fell on deaf ears because of our new manager.
“I signed for United because I like Mourinho, as simple as that,” Bailly told the Sunday Times.
“I wanted to play for someone who works very hard. I didn’t speak to Pep Guardiola but the ‘second’ manager called me and Mourinho called me as well.
“He said come and play for me. I prefer Mourinho, in part because of Didier Drogba, who Mourinho worked with.
“I have played with Didier in the Ivory Coast, he is a friend and he told me, ‘Jose did this for me, Jose did that for me’.
“Yaya also called me and said come to City. But once Jose spoke to me and Didier gave me advice, I knew straight away I wanted to play for him.”
Good lad Eric. Plus, you’re called Eric, which automatically means you’re better than most. When it comes to Mourinho, we always knew him being in charge would peak players’ interest in joining us and that’s proved to be the case with Bailly, I’d hazard a guess to say the same goes for Ibrahimovic.
So far, Bailly’s been very impressive. He looks a lot more comfortable than I thought he would at this stage and seems to be improving with each passing game, putting him in a strong position to be ready for our first Premier League match away to Bournemouth and we haven’t seen him play alongside our best defender Chris Smalling yet either, so it bodes well.
When it comes to joining United, any player gets a nod from the fans when they’ve rejected approaches from the blue side of Manchester and here’s hoping Bailly can mould himself into more of a Vidic than a Mangala.