Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has claimed that his best time at the club came under Jose Mourinho.
The Ivory Coast international was signed by Mourinho during his first summer in charge of United.
The all-action defender became first choice alongside Marcos Rojo that season, but his injury proneness meant he spent far too long on the treatment table to build on his early United successes.
Speaking with L’Equipe, the defender, now on-loan at Marseille, said: “The first contact [with Mourinho] was on the phone. I was in Abidjan when he called me, I see a Portuguese number, I don’t really know, I answer, and I hear: ‘Hello, it’s José Mourinho.’
“There, I had no words. We talked a bit, he knew that there were interests from several clubs in England, and for him the best way to convince me was to call me personally.
“He told me that he had followed me for years, that he had seen me grow at Espanyol and then at Villarreal.”
He continued: “The first two seasons in Manchester were the best, they are good memories. Then there was the accumulation of injuries, and less playing time.
“Mourinho is a very demanding person, who has a lot of character. He’s called the Special One and he’s really special. He brought me a lot in my progress.”
“The greatest happiness, it is to find the grounds, to know that I will play.”