Yerry Mina: ‘Any talk with Manchester United was just my agent’

The Colombia defender says it was Marco Silva’s persistence that saw him swap Barcelona for Everton after the World Cup

The eyebrows arch, the eyes widen and the laughter ignites again from Yerry Mina as soon as he hears the names José Mourinho and Manchester United. He has been expecting this question and waiting months to give an answer. Ultimately, the Colombia international maintains, it was not the money Everton invested that swayed him away from Old Trafford but the timing. After the isolation of Barcelona, it was important to feel wanted again. Enter Marco Silva.

“Good,” says Mina upon mention of United, and before waiting for an interpreter to translate the full question into Spanish. He has been asked whether a lack of interest from Mourinho discouraged a move to Manchester after an eventful World Cup or, as United briefed at the height of their manager’s dissatisfaction with the club’s summer transfer business, Everton’s willingness to pay excessive agents’ fees? Marcel Brands, director of football at Everton, has rejected the latter theory, insisting a fee of €30.25m (£26.4m) plus €1.5m (£1.3m) add-ons was agreed at the start of negotiations with Barcelona only for the La Liga champions to hold out for six weeks for a better offer from United that never materialised.

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