New Chelsea signing Kurt Zouma snubbed Manchester United in order to play under Jose Mourinho, Daily Star reports.
Zouma was a £12million January purchase from Saint-Ettiene but remained on loan at the French club until the end of the 2013/2014 campaign.
Now the 19-year-old centre-back arrives at Stamford Bridge on a five-year-deal and admitted declining offers from other top sides, which included Manchester United.
“I really wanted to go to Chelsea,” he said. “Did I have other offers? Yes, there were Internazionale, Monaco and Manchester United. All those clubs called.
“Monaco was the first to call, with the sport director. I thought about it, but with Mr Mourinho, that is a strong signal.
“I know it is a risky choice, but I wanted to catch that train. I didn’t know if I would get that opportunity again.
“By signing at Chelsea I am keen to reach a new level.”
Zouma’s immediate future is still unclear, as reports suggest that he could be sent out on loan once again.
But the France U-21 international is expected to be part of Chelsea’s pre-season squad, where he will finally get the chance to work with his new boss.
“When I had a phone call from Mourinho, I thought someone was imitating him,” Zouma told France Football.
“First, I could hardly talk. It is very flattering to have a call from one of the best coaches in the world.
“He told me I have an interesting profile and he wanted to do with me what he did with Raphael Varane at Real Madrid. Thanks to him he became one of the best French defenders.
“When you hear that, you reply yes immediately. Being one of the best French defenders is an objective for me.”