Mourinho called the former Leicester City midfielder, 25, trying to persuade him to move to Old Trafford.
Kante said: “It was amazing to have Mourinho call me, even though I'd been warned before how he would appeal to me.
“I listened to his arguments about why I should move to United.
“But at that time I was hesitant between staying at Leicester or leaving for Chelsea.
“My discussions with them were already well underway. But when I spoke, I had a good feeling with Conte."