Eric Bailly lifts lid on personal talk with Man United boss Jose Mourinho

Eric Bailly admits that he couldn't believe that Manchester United were trying to sign him last summer when he first learnt of their interest

eric bailly
Manchester United defender Eric Bailly Photo: Eric Bailly / Instagram

Eric Bailly has admitted that he thought he was being pranked when Jose Mourinho called him before his summer transfer to Manchester United last summer.

Bailly ended up being Mourinho’s first signing of the summer transfer window last year as the Portuguese coach bolstered his defence immediately following his appointment at Old Trafford last summer.

The Ivorian defender has been a regular fixture in the Manchester United first team this season and has earned plenty of praise for his strong performances this season.

However, the 23-year-old admits that he did not believe it was Mourinho on the phone to him when he first got the call last summer, because Manchester City had been keeping tabs on him.

Bailly told The Daily Mirror: “I was in the Ivory Coast, I got called from a ­Portuguese number, he ­introduced himself but I just didn’t ­believe it at first.

“Before I came to Man United, it was City who had been watching me. In my mind, I was going there. But then everything changed.

“It felt like Mourinho was the one who really wanted me. He showed more interest, he rang me and that’s why I’m at Man United.

“Man City contacted my agent, Barcelona as well were talking to my agent, but they weren’t as interested in me as Mourinho. He really pushed for the move.

“Of course the club is ­important when you sign, but the manager is so important. If a player feels like the manager wants you, wants to sign you, it gives you extra motivation.”

Bailly will be hoping to end the season with two major trophies after the Red Devils won the EFL Cup back in February.

MORE: Latest Manchester United news and views

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Manchester United will also hope to secure Europa League glory and are set to take on Celta Vigo in the semi-finals next month.

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