Monaco president Vadim Vasilyev has revealed that Benjamin Mendy would have turned down a move to Chelsea, but was swayed by Manchester City and the opportunity to work with Pep Guardiola.
The full-back was regularly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but eventually joined title rivals City in a £52m deal.
And Vasilyev has claimed that the Frenchman informed him of his intention to leave for Manchester, insisting that he would have been willing to stay had it been Chelsea.
Asked which players Monaco had expected may be sold in the summer, Vasilyev told L'Equipe: “Bernardo Silva and Bakayoko without doubt. And a third possible person being Mendy.
“For a while, we held off. 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.’
“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.”
Mendy has so far made two Premier League appearances for City, impressing on the left side of defence.