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Manchester United defender Eric Bailly reveals why he rejected Manchester City

Rohith Nair
3.96K   //    31 Jul 2016, 16:26 IST
Eric Bailly Jose Mourinho Manchester United City
New boss Jose Mourinho played a big role in convincing Bailly to join Manchester United

New Manchester United signing Eric Bailly revealed that he had the chance to sign Manchester City but snubbed them to join the Red Devils instead. And the main reason he chose to sign for their Premier League rivals was because of Jose Mourinho.

Bailly was United’s first summer signing and the deal was confirmed in the second week of June after they paid Villarreal £30m and signed him on a four-year deal. At the time, the 22-year-old defender had said that it was a “dream come true” to move to the Old Trafford club. 

“I signed for United because I like Mourinho, as simple as that,” Bailly explained in an interview with The Sun. The Ivory Coast centre-back had spoken with both Mourinho and a member of the City coaching staff but it was the new United boss who convinced him to join.

“I wanted to play for someone who works very hard,” Bailly continued. “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.”

Drogba had spent the majority of his career in the Premier League and won three of his four EPL titles at Chelsea under Mourinho. And the Blues legend had a word with Bailly regarding how the Portuguese boss had helped the Ivorian striker in England.

“I have played with Didier in the Ivory Coast," Bailly said. "He is a friend and he told me, ‘Jose did this for me, Jose did that for me’.

“Yaya [Toure] 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."

Vidic is my favourite player in the EPL: Bailly

The young defender’s style of play has been compared to Chelsea defender John Terry but Bailly’s biggest idol is Nemanja Vidic. The centre-back spent eight seasons at Old Trafford and won five Premier League titles and also a Champions League trophy. 

“I like John Terry,” Bailly said. “And especially Nemanja Vidic. I watched them both on TV when I was in Spain. They are very strong and powerful; like I try to be.

“Terry plays the ball well but Vidic was more hard and played really hard. He was my favourite player at United and in the Premier League. I want to be like him with my  performances for United.”

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