Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has lifted the lid on Benjamin Mendy’s summer move to Manchester City and revealed that the defender was never keen on working under Antonio Conte at Chelsea.
Mendy joined City for a fee of around £52million in July following an impressive campaign in the Champions League with Monaco and it’s understood a number of elite European sides were interested in signing the 23-year-old left-back.
Vasilyev stresses that the Ligue 1 outfit were reluctant to let Mendy leave but the chance to work with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad meant the France international was desperate to move.
‘For a while, we held off,’ Vasilyev said on interest from the Premier League for the full-back.
‘And then, we thought – in spite of the offers that we had had for him and him indicating that he wanted to leave – could he have another season like the last one?
‘At first, I said, “No, you’re staying”. He replied: “But Vadim, I really want to go to City and link up with Guardiola.”
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte expressed a keen interest in Mendy, before his transfer to City, but Vasilyev claims the defender never wanted to work under the Italian at Stamford Bridge.
He said: ‘On numerous occasions he said to me: “If it was Chelsea, I’d stay; but if it’s a chance to work with Guardiola, I want to go.” He’d spoken so frankly with me.
‘So, when City met the asking price and when he became the most expensive defender in the world, there were no more arguments to have with him. We weighed up the for and against and said to him: “OK, you can go.”’
More Breaking News:
Gary Neville Uses Arsenal Vs Chelsea Incident To Prove Why Sadio Mane Should Not Have Been Sent off.
Gary Neville used an incident during Arsenal’s pre-season clash with Chelsea as evidence Sadio Mane should not have seen red at Manchester City.
The Liverpool winger was shown a straight red card during his side’s 5-0 defeat for a reckless challenge on City goalkeeper Ederson.
Neville was part of Sky Sports’ commentary team for the game and suggested referee Jon Moss had “ruined” the encounter by sending off Mane.
Despite plenty changing their mind on the decision after watching replays, Neville insisted Moss had got it wrong.
And he used the incident involving Pedro and David Ospina as an example of the inconsistencies with such decision.
During the pre-season encounter, Ospina clattered into the Chelsea forward as he cleared a ball from his area.
Pedro was remarkably deemed to be the guilty party, despite fracturing his cheekbone as a result of the challenge.
Neville posted a clip of the incident and asked for the difference between that and Mane’s dismissal.
He asked his followers: “Interested to know. Red or not?
Speaking during the encounter, Neville said: “His eyes are on the ball, it’s ridiculous. He wins that challenge, the goal is there for him.
“He didn’t need to give a red card. He could have given a yellow. I think he’s got it wrong.
“Jon Moss, you have just ruined the game there.”