Danilo has confirmed that he rejected the advances of Chelsea to complete his £26.5 million move to Manchester City from Real Madrid
As reported by Daily Mail, Danilo has revealed that he indeed turned down the chance to play for Chelsea before joining Manchester City. The Brazilian defender claimed that the Citizens were an easy pick after he spoke to Pep Guardiola, while also confirming that Zinedine Zidane had also asked him to stay.
Danilo is coming off a disastrous two-year spell with Real Madrid, where he failed to establish himself as a regular. Having arrived at the Bernabeu with a burgeoning reputation of being one of the most exciting young defenders in Europe, the player did not manage to live up to his enormous billing in the last two years.
The period was nothing short of a struggle for Danilo as he could only manage to start 40 games over the last two seasons, having been the understudy to Dani Carvajal. He continued to remain a popular figure in the transfer market though as Chelsea, Juventus and Manchester City vied for his signature.
Danilo: “It wasn’t a difficult decision to choose City over Chelsea. The moment City called me and Pep called me, I knew what I had to do.” pic.twitter.com/Qth2Yxa6Rl
— City Watch (@City_Watch) July 25, 2017
Chelsea and City, though, were in a head-to-head battle to secure the player’s services last week as both submitted their respective bids to Real Madrid. However, it was the Citizens who ultimately won the race to sign Danilo, as the completed his signing in a £26.5 million deal.
And the 26-year-old has revealed just why he chose to pick City over the reigning Premier League champions. “It was very fast, I was training with Real Madrid, Pep called me and I was very motivated to make this change and start to work with him,” Danilo told reporters.
“[Zidane] did [try to convince me to stay] but I was sure I needed to change. I needed to think a bit more about myself and find a place where I had more options. It wasn’t a difficult decision to choose City over Chelsea. The moment City called me and Pep called me, I knew what I had to do.”
Guardiola has been on a spending spree this summer with his primary focus being defence. Indeed, Bernardo Silva is the only attacking player he has signed so far, with Ederson Moraes, Danilo, Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy being his remaining signings.
The Brazilian defender will continue to have stiff competition for a starting spot with Walker and Mendy expected to be the first-choice options for Guardiola for either side of defence. Nevertheless, Danilo offers the City boss a lot of flexibility with his ability to play as a right-back as well as a left-back.
With the World Cup less than a year away, Danilo would now be hoping to resurrect his stuttering career and claim a place in the Brazil national squad that will travel to Russia in 2018. It now remains to be seen if the Brazilian defender’s decision to choose City over Chelsea is vindicated.