Manchester City full back Benjamin Mendy has admitted that he decided that he wanted to join the Citizens way back in February, when his team at the time, Monaco, travelled to the Etihad for the Champions League.
Mendy made the switch to Manchester in the summer, but in an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, he admitted that Kevin De Bruyne convinced him when the two were waiting in anti-doping control after City's 5-3 Champions League win in February.
“After the game at the Etihad I was in anti-doping control with Kevin De Bruyne and had the opportunity then to ask him lots of questions. I knew at that point it was going to be my destination. And yes, Kevin asked me straight - ‘When are you coming to join us?’ And I said, ‘As soon as they come and ask for me!’”
After Monaco's Ligue 1 title victory, the club's star players were gradually being picked off by Europe's elite. But before anyone left, and while the players were aware of the interest, Mendy has opened up on a game that him and his teammates would play amid the rumours.
“We started to have this game where we’d be asking each other, ‘So where are you going then?’”
“And everyone would lie. Some would say, ‘Oh, I’m going to Chelsea me’, others would go, ‘No, no, I’m off to Paris Saint-Germain’.
"Everyone was making up these stories. But when the calls came in and we all did go off to sign for other clubs, we’d agreed beforehand that we’d send each other Whatsapp pictures of ourselves at the point of signing, with the shirt aloft."
“Bernardo ended up being the first one. The rest of us were on holiday when we suddenly got this round robin photo from him signing for Manchester City, which was a surprise because he was the only one who had never said where he was going or what his plans were!
"And then he knocked us all over with that picture – ‘I’ve done it, here I am’. After that it was like dominos falling.”