Eric Bailly was the third among Manchester United’s four summer buys which included Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba.
Bailly began his professional career at Spanish club Espanyol before transferring to fellow La Liga club Villareal for €5.7 million. He spent two seasons at the club, before signing for Manchester United for a reported fee of £30 million in June 2016.
The Ivory Coast international has enjoyed an extremely successful start to his Manchester United career under José Mourinho.
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According to English media outlet The Daily Mail, it was Mourinho’s phone call which convinced Bailly to move to Manchester United.
‘It was Jose Mourinho,’ Espanyol midfielder Joan Jordan told The Daily Mail.
‘It was out of the blue. It meant a huge amount. Eric called me up all excited.
‘He was saying, “How can I say no when Mourinho calls me?” Mourinho spoke in French, Eric’s mother tongue, and explained exactly what his role would be and what his plan was for United.
‘Mourinho’s phone call was a big intervention.’
Mourinho seems to be the master of phone calls, as it was his phone call which also led to the transformation of Marouane Fellaini.
In a recent interview, Mourinho himself revealed: “Maybe a simple phone call can make a difference.
“[Fellaini was] a player that was feeling not loved. A player that when the season and the market opened, everybody was saying he was leaving and was not a player for me.
“But maybe a simple phone call the day after my presentation as Manchester United manager changed a lot because I told him ‘forget everything you read, for me you don’t leave, for sure’.”