How Mourinho Stopped Me From Joining Arsenal - Essien
Former Chelsea midfielder, Michael Essien has revealed the events that transpired prior to his move to Real Madrid, that Jose Mourinho was the one that discouraged him from making a move to Arsenal.
The former Black star was at Chelsea for nine years and towards the end of his time at Chelsea, he started generating interest from other clubs, which lead to Mourinho getting wind of a rumour he was planning to join Arsenal.
According to Essien, Mourinho spoke to him on the phone to ditch any planned move to Arsenal and go to Real Madrid with him.
"I was with Chelsea in Monaco for the Super Cup and a strange number called me but I didn’t want to answer it but my cousin who was in the room with me that day told me to pick it up" Essien said on Instagram Live with Carol Tshabalala.
"The number kept calling so I picked and as soon as I said hello and another hello came from the other end and I realised who was on the phone so I told my cousin it’s Jose Mourinho."
"We started talking and he said, ‘I heard you’re on your way to Arsenal’. But I told him it’s not true. I had not heard anything from Arsenal. Then he said don’t go to Arsenal, come to me and I asked him where, and he said Real Madrid so I told him I’m ready."
"It was the last day of the transfer window and he said okay give me your agent’s number. I told him I’m ready even if it means I have to leave in the midst of the Super Cup game."
"He said Lassana Diarra was supposed to move to Russia so if he accepts to go then they will process my transfer and I told him, ‘OK, I’m waiting, just chilling in my room’. He said give me a couple hours I’ll call back and I said cool."
"My agent called after a few hours and said what happened and I told him I spoke to Jose about moving to Madrid and said he gave Jose my number. He told me to relax because Madrid will come and I just said OK."
The 37-year old Ghanian eventually joined Real Madrid on loan in 2012, he scored 2 goals in 21 appearances for Los Blancos. He currently plays for Azerbaijan side, Sabail.