Michael Essien reveals two players who stopped him going to Manchester United; The Nigerian midfielder was hijacked by Jose Mourinho.
Michael Essien was one of the crucial players in Chelsea’s success when Jose Mourinho took over the club. However, it is no secret that the Nigerian midfielder was close to joining Manchester United.
But Jose Mourinho, in the end, hijacked the deal and landed Essien at the Stamford Bridge. Now, the former Chelsea midfielder has revealed that two players were responsible for stopping his move to Manchester United.
Speaking to South African reporter Carol Tshabalala (via The Metro) Essien said: “My second year at Lyon, when we finished the season, I came back to start pre-season with them and I came back very happy to start pre-season.
“That’s when the other teams started coming in like Chelsea and Manchester United.“At that point I’d have loved to have joined United. But I was speaking with Jose every other day and he made it clear, very straight to me, that he wanted me to join Chelsea and there was only Chelsea that could pay the transfer fee at that time.
“It was not easy but I remember the first time I spoke to Jose. I went to Malouda’s house for a barbeque and then during the barbeque Drogba called him and he and Drogba started speaking because they are very close and then Drogba asked him,
‘When you see Michael, whenever you see him, can you tell him Jose wants his number, Jose wants to talk to him?’ but then he said, ‘No, Michael is here, we’re having a barbeque!’.
“So he gave the phone to me and I started speaking to Drogba and that’s how we started. I passed on my number to him and he passed it on to Jose and that’s when everything started. It was a tough transfer saga.”
Essien’s move was rewarded with a trophy-laden nine-year spell in the west London where he won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the League Cup, Community Shield and the 2011/12 Champions League.