BENJAMIN MENDY has revealed some of his former Monaco team-mates told him they were joining Chelsea.
Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva and Mendy all quit the French giants this summer to sign for some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Mbappe joined PSG, Silva and Mendy penned deals with Manchester City while Tiemoue Bakayoko arrived at Chelsea.
Their next destinations, for a long time, were a mystery to the footballing world – and to themselves.
And Mendy has lifted the lid on the behind-the-scenes pranks between the Monaco stars.
He told The Telegraph: “We started to have this game where we’d be asking each other, ‘So where are you going then?’”
“And everyone would lie. Some would say, ‘Oh, I’m going to Chelsea me’.
“Others would go, ‘No, no, I’m off to Paris Saint-Germain’. Everyone was making up these stories.
“But when the calls came in and we all did go off to sign for other clubs, we’d agreed beforehand that we’d send each other Whatsapp pictures of ourselves at the point of signing, with the shirt aloft.
“Bernardo ended up being the first one. The rest of us were on holiday when we suddenly got this round robin photo from him signing for Manchester City, which was a surprise because he was the only one who had never said where he was going or what his plans were!
“And then he knocked us all over with that picture – ‘I’ve done it, here I am’. After that it was like dominos falling.”
Antonio Conte claims one player will feature more after cup heroics
Antonio Conte seems to have finally been won over by forward Michy Batshuayi, who up until the last couple of games was more famous for his antics and hilarity on social media than he was for his goal tally.
Now, after impressing in both the Carabo Cup and the Champions League, Conte thinks that it is time for the Batman to shine, and that he worked hard last season and during pre-season to put himself in this position – and now needs to be rewarded for it.
The Express report Conte said: “Last season he didn’t play a lot.
“After one year I think he has worked very hard last season to be able to face this league and work with Chelsea. He will have the right chance.
“We must know to play four competitions is not easy.
Then sometimes when you ask if the players are happy if they don’t play?
“You have to find the right balance to give the right opportunity and balance in every competition, when this happens the most important thing is the answer from the players must be positive.
“It is normal in the first round to have the rotation. It is not easy and you have to give an opportunity to some players to play.
“Every competition is important, I don’t think one team thinks it is better to lose one game.
“We want to win and go through in this competition. It is normal sometimes you pay something in this competition when you have big rotation.”