Antonio Valencia has revealed Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho tried to sign him during his tenure at Real Madrid.
The Ecuador international has taken his game to a new level under the Portuguese’s tutelage, claiming the right-back spot in an ever-changing backline.
And the 31-year-old has revealed a pre-season chat with Mourinho has been the driving force behind his exceptional campaign.
“I feel the manager really believes in me,” he told ESPN FC. “I’ve played in many games and I have been free of serious injuries.
“I spoke with the manager soon after he arrived. He told me when he was at Real Madrid he wanted to sign me but United had said no.
“That conversation gave me a lot of confidence and I have been happy to play right-back rather than further forward, where I’ve played for most of my career.
“I feel very comfortable, but in a team like United you have to attack anyway from right-back.
“When you play in this position you have an opportunity to find space and make the best of that space.