Monaco vice president Vasim Vasilyev has revealed that left back Benjamin Mendy would not have been allowed to leave the Ligue One champions if Chelsea, not Manchester City, had come calling this summer.
Vasilyev said he had a number of discussions with the French international about the circumstances in which the player would be allowed to leave, and Mendy is said to have expressed a keen desire to play under Pep Guardiola at City. In an interview with L’Equipe (translated by the Evening Standard), Vasilyev explained the events that led to Mendy’s £52m move to Manchester:
“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.'”
Chelsea were reportedly considering an offer for Mendy in the summer but the club’s number one target for the left wing back role was Juventus’s Alex Sandro. The Brazilian was the subject of a number of bids from the Blues, but Juve were determined to keep hold of the 26 year old. Whether Antonio Conte will look to make another offer for the player in January, we will have to wait and see.