Kalidou Koulibaly says his former Napoli teammate Jorginho and his international colleague got in touch this summer as they tried to encourage him to make the switch from Serie A to Chelsea.
The 31-year-old has swapped Napoli for west for a fee of around £33m as the Blues look to almost completely revamp their defence this summer.
Koulibaly is the first centre-back to arrive after the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, with at least one more set to follow him.
Chelsea were always going to be an attractive proposition for the commanding centre-back, but Jorginho and Mendy did their best to help convince Koulibaly to move to Stamford Bridge.
The Italy international played with the centre-back at Napoli from 2014-18, while Mendy is teammate with Senegal.
‘I speak a lot with them both,’ said Koulibaly. ‘Jorgi actually texted me and asked if I wanted to come to ! At the time, I wasn’t sure if they wanted me but of course, I said I would come with pleasure.
‘It was the same with Edou, he asked me the question and I told him it was already done and I would see him soon! Now I’m here, I’m really happy to start this exciting journey.
‘The squad looks great with a good mix of younger players and those with more experience.’
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel also had an impact on the transfer, with Koulibaly now raring to get going on his first crack at the Premier League after eight years with Napoli.
‘I spoke a lot with the manager and with my family and I’m just really happy, because I made a big decision to come to Chelsea,’ he said.
‘I wanted to test myself in the greatest league in the world and I want to thank everyone for giving me this chance.’
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