Former Chelsea star Claude Makelele has revealed he was approached by Manchester United but decided to join Chelsea from Real Madrid.
The former France international joined the Blues from Real Madrid £16.8m at the end of the 2002/03 campaign.
“I went to Chelsea because they came in first,” he told FourFourTwo magazine.
“After that, several other teams approached me, including Manchester United and Inter, who had tried to sign me before I moved to Real.
“Due to the way things were happening at Madrid, I told Chelsea, ‘If I go, I’ll come to you.’ I gave them a promise. They went to great lengths to sign me, as I was 30 by then but they still paid a significant transfer fee [£16.8 million].”
Makelele was a key member of the most successful Chelsea team in history, helping the Mourinho-led side win two Premier League titles and the FA Cup during his five-year spell at Stamford Bridge.