Yerry Mina has opened up over summer links to Manchester United and has explained why he has held a long-time affection for new club Everton.
The Colombia defender joined the Toffees in a €30.25m (£26.4m) with a further €1.5m (£1.3m) in add-ons from Barcelona over the summer – but not before he was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, with Jose Mourinho also in the market for a new centre half.
But Mina insists United’s interest was never serious and he has a theory for where the links may have come from.
“I know now, sitting here, that I have made the right decision,” Mina said in an interview with The Guardian. “It was the best decision I could have made. I was always focused on Everton. Any talk with Manchester United was just with my agent.”
Mina added that Marco Silva went the extra mile to make him feel wanted at Goodison Park and also admitted the two Everton players he remembers from his childhood.
“The truth is Marco spoke to me every day, telling me to come to England,” he said. “I have always been aware of English football while growing up in Colombia – Manchester United, Manchester City, Everton, Tottenham. But Everton, honestly, has always been an important club for me. I watched them when back in the day when [Marouane] Fellaini was playing here, I remember Aaron Lennon too.
“But, as I said, the big thing was when I was on holiday, training and keeping fit after the World Cup, Marco was on the phone, talking to me, saying to me: ‘Come on, come and play here with us’. The faith he showed in me was very important.”
Mina also admitted he shares a close friendship with Jordan Pickford and was quick to remind him about the header he scored against him for Colombia against England in the last 16 of the World Cup this summer.
“You’re absolutely right, I reminded him,” the charismatic centre-half admitted. “But I said to him: ‘Jordan, don’t worry – we are together now.’ All the lads have been great but I have to say Jordan has been particularly good. He has accepted me really well, given me a great reception and really helped me out since I have got here. He is a good lad.”
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