Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has revealed he called Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho personally to turn down a move to Old Trafford.
Boateng emerged as a potential transfer target for United towards the end of the summer transfer window, as Mourinho desperately scrambled for a new centre-back.
The Germany international was free to leave Bayern in the summer but failed to secure a move to Paris Saint-Germain before staying with the Bundesliga giants.
United were reluctant to pursue Boateng due to his age and injury-hit record but the 30-year-old has now revealed he turned down the Red Devils.
“I had enquiries from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, and I considered them both,” the former Manchester City centre-back told German outlet Bild, via Sky Sports.
“Not because I wanted to leave Bayern Munich by all means. It was no escape, but rather the thrill of a new challenge. I feel completely contented at Bayern – one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“I phoned Jose Mourinho and told him that his interest honoured me and thanked him [for trying so hard to try and bring me to United]. I explained to him my reasons for not joining.
“It’s difficult to leave FC Bayern. Everything has to fall in place to top this club, if I do it. [Bayern Munich boss] Niko Kovac gave me the feeling that I am very important for him and the club.”
Boateng has played every minute of Bayern’s opening two league games and also started Germany’s 0-0 draw with world champions France during the international break.
Since the start of the 2015/16 campaign, Boateng has only featured in 42.8% of the available minutes in the Bundesliga for Bayern.