Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has revealed that he rang Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho personally to explain his reasons for rejecting a summer move to Old Trafford.
Boateng, who has previously played for Manchester City, attracted interest from United and French champions Paris Saint-Germain during the transfer window, but chose to remain at Bayern.
The 30-year-old says that he was tempted by the idea of a new challenge, but could not bring himself to leave a club of Bayern's stature.
"Not because I wanted to leave Bayern Munich by all means. It was no escape, but rather the thrill of a new challenge. I feel completely contented at Bayern - one of the biggest clubs in the world."
Boateng struggled to hold down his place at Bayern last season due to a combination of injuries and rotation, prompting him to reconsider his future with the Bavarian side.
However, it was the assurances of new manager Niko Kovac, who promised Boateng that he would be an important part of the team this season, which convinced him to stay at the Allianz Arena, as he explained to Mourinho.
"I phoned Jose Mourinho and told him that his interest honoured me and thanked him," said Boateng. "I explained to him my reasons for not joining.
"It's difficult to leave FC Bayern. Everything has to fall in place to top this club, if I do it. Niko Kovac gave me the feeling that I am very important for him and the club."
Boateng has made over 260 appearances for Bayern since joining the club in 2011.