In an interview with Bild (via Sport Bild), Bayern Munich and Germany center-back Jerome Boateng explained how new head coach Niko Kovac influenced his decision to decline an opportunity to transfer to Manchester United, leading to his personal conversation with Jose Mourinho by telephone.
Although Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in particular seemed interested in shipping Boateng elsewhere, Kovac’s arrival seems to have put a stop to any short-term plans to find a new home for Bayern’s erstwhile captain of the defense. Boateng said,
From the very start, the coach expressed how much he values and trusts me. Niko Kovac gave me the feeling that I’m very important to him and the club.
That feeling paid dividends, as it dampened the appeal of a new challenge elsewhere. Boateng explained his interest a potential move abroad was more about seeking out something new than fleeing Munich.
It wasn’t escape but rather the appeal of a new challenge. I’m happy as a clam at FC Bayern; it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world... For a transfer, everything has to be just right to top this club.
Those feelings — confidence in Niko Kovac and happiness at Bayern — were what led Boateng to call Jose Mourinho personally to thank him and decline his overtures to join Manchester United. Boateng told him,
...that his interest was an honor for me and I thanked him that he had pushed so hard for me at Manchester United. It was a good conversation, in which I explained to him the reasons why I wouldn’t come.
Boateng still was very close to leaving Munich for Paris and PSG, but the new situation created by his positive relationship with Kovac effectively raised Bayern’s asking price beyond what Paris was willing to pay — with Boateng’s blessing.