In a candid interview with L’Equipe, the vice-president of AS Monaco, Vadim Vasilyev, has explained how the principality club came to sell Benjamin Mendy to Manchester City in what was one of the summer’s longest sagas.
Monaco turned down a series of bids from City, despite Mendy’s desire to move to the Premier League club, before finally agreeing a fee that according to some reports has made the 23-year-old the most expensive defender ever.
“We held out for a long time,” Vadim told L’Equipe. “And then, we thought – given the offers we have for him and his willingness to leave – if he’d be able to repeat the same season (with us),”
“These are complex decisions. At first I said, ‘No, you’re staying.’ And he said, ‘But Vadim, I really want to go to City with Guardiola.’
“Several times he said, ‘If it was Chelsea, I would stay, but it’s Guardiola and I want to go.’
“He was frank with me, so when City offered that fee, when he became the most expensive defender in the world, I had no more arguments to oppose it. We weighed up the pros and cons and told him, ‘OK, go ahead.'”