Speaking today, new Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has revealed that he turned down interest from Manchester City to sign with the Old Trafford club.
The Ivory Coast international became Jose Mourinho's first United signing when he arrived in Manchester from Villareal in a £30 million deal.
Now, speaking in an extensive interview with The Sunday Times, the centre-back has now admitted he could have actually ended up signing for the blue half of the city had it not been for two figures with a definite Chelsea link.
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"I signed for United because I like Mourinho, it’s as simple as that. I wanted to play for someone who works very hard," Bailly explained, before admitting a phone call from the Portuguese boss did a lot to help convince him to spurn the interest of Pep Guardiola and City.
"I didn’t speak to Pep Guardiola but the second [assistant] manager called me and Mourinho called me as well. He said come and play for me."
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It wasn't only Mourinho's illustrious managerial track record that caught Bailly's eye, however. The 22-year-old's discussions with a certain Didier Drogba also played their part.
"I prefer Mourinho in part because of Didier Drogba, who Mourinho has worked with," he said, via 101 Great Goals.
"I know Didier from the Ivory Coast, he is a friend, and he spoke to me and told me, ‘Jose did this for me, Jose did that for me’."
United fans were often tormented by Drogba on the pitch during the striker's days with Chelsea, but now they have the veteran to thank for helping them get one over on their city rivals this summer.
It remains to be seen whether Bailly helps add further salt to the wound for City fans by becoming a star at the Theatre of Dreams.
What is clear, though, is that if he does United fans won't let the blue half of the city forget that he chose Mourinho over Guardiola.
"Yaya [Toure] also called me and said that I should come to City," said the ex-Villarreal man.
"But once Jose spoke to me and Didier gave me advice, I knew straight away that I wanted to play for him."
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