Bailly was one of Mourinho’s first signings when he became Manchester United manager more than six years ago.


The defender, who is currently out on loan at Lyon, has great memories of working under the then-Manchester United boss.



He revealed that Mourinho personally called him to tilt the scales in Manchester United’s favour when other Premier League clubs were also interested in him in 2016.


The Ivorian admitted that the first two years were the best time he had at Old Trafford and Mourinho was one of the major reasons.



Bailly admires the Portuguese’s strength of character and admits that he played a role in helping him develop as a player.


The defender told French sports daily L’Equipe when asked about Mourinho: “The first contact was on the phone.



“I was in Abidjan when he called me.


“I saw a Portuguese number that I didn’t really know but I answered and I heard, ‘Hello, this is Jose Mourinho’.


“I had no words.


“We spoke a bit, he knew there was interest from other English clubs and for him, and the best way to convince me was to call me personally.


“He told me that he had followed me for years, he had seen me develop at Espanyol and Villarreal.


“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 is called the Special One and he is really special.


“He helped me a lot in my progress.”


Mourinho is currently at Roma and Bailly’s injury problems have meant that he is not part of Erik ten Hag’s plans going forward at Old Trafford.