Benjamin Mendy rejected a move to Chelsea in favor of Manchester City move with an intention to work under Pep Guardiola, according to Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev.
Mendy had been linked with a move away from Monaco all summer long, with many of the elite clubs showing interest in the left-back as he helped the French side win the Ligue 1 title last season by putting in a number of stunning performances.
Premier League duo, Chelsea and Manchester City were reported to be leading the race for the defender earlier on in the summer and the attacking full-back eventually signed for the Citizens for around £51.75 million.
Mendy was among the three expensive acquisitions City boss Pep Guardiola made in the full-back position during the summer and the 23-year-old has impressed for the Citizens in his first two games for the club so far.
Now in a recent interview, Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has revealed that he did not want to let Mendy leave Stade Louis II this summer but with the player desperate to play under Guardiola, the club decided to sell him to City rather than Chelsea, who had made the first approach.
Vasilyev told L’Equipe, “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? 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.'”
Guardiola is regarded as one of the best managers of the world and is famed for popularizing the wondering Tiki-Taka football during his time with Barcelona.
His Barcelona side was amongst the best teams of all time as the La Liga giants won every competition they were eligible to play in for a period of a couple of years. During this era, the Spaniard earned a reputation as one of the most tactically astute managers as well as a motivator who could get the best out of his players.
The 46-year-old tactician is also one of the most unpredictable managers and believes in consistently improvising his teams in order to keep the opponents guessing, as evidence by his time at Manchester City so far. He is known to be an incessant observer of the game and an experienced professional.
Considering these traits of Guardiola, it comes as no surprise for most young players like Mendy to want to play under the Spaniard.