Benjamin Mendy: 'Monaco players joked about joining Chelsea'

Mendy: 'Teammates joked about Chelsea move'
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Benjamin Mendy reveals that he and his Monaco teammates would joke about which teams they planned on joining following last season's Ligue 1 title success.

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has revealed that a number of his former Monaco teammates informed him that they were going to join Chelsea during the summer.

Les Monegasques' squad was slowly dismantled on the back of their Ligue 1 title-winning success, beginning with creative midfielder Bernardo Silva's move to Manchester City.

Mendy has offered an insight into the behind-the-scenes pranks that took place in the Monaco dressing room, prior to sealing his own £52m switch to the Etihad Stadium at the end of July.

"We started to have this game where we'd be asking each other, 'So where are you going then?'" he told The Telegraph. "And everyone would lie. Some would say, 'Oh, I'm going to Chelsea me'.

"Others would go, 'No, no, I'm off to Paris Saint-Germain'. Everyone was making up these stories. But when the calls came in and we all did go off to sign for other clubs, we'd agreed beforehand that we'd send each other Whatsapp pictures of ourselves at the point of signing, with the shirt aloft.

"Bernardo ended up being the first one. The rest of us were on holiday when we suddenly got this round robin photo from him signing for Manchester City, which was a surprise because he was the only one who had never said where he was going or what his plans were! And then he knocked us all over with that picture – 'I've done it, here I am'. After that it was like dominoes falling."

Kylian Mbappe and Tiemoue Bakayoko were the other two high-profile departures, joining Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea respectively.

A general shot of the corner flag at the Etihad Stadium prior to Manchester City's Premier League clash with Middlesbrough on November 5, 2016
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