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Exclusive: Former Chelsea defender Mancienne only listened to Revs offer

Michael Mancienne says he did not entertain any other offers before signing a contract extension with the New England Revolution last November.

The former Chelsea defender joined the Boston-based club from Nottingham Forest in July 2018 on a $1.28m dollar salary, which made him the highest paid defender in Major League Soccer over the last two seasons.

The Revolution declined to take up Mancienne's contract option, which would have paid him $1 million for the 2020 season.

Mancienne instead accepted a one-year extension worth $400,000, excluding bonuses, according to Pro Soccer USA.

Speaking to Tribalfootball.com, the 32-year-old says he never thought of leaving Massachusetts.

"I wanted to stay here so I didn't explore any other kind of options to go anywhere. So I was more than happy to stay here," the former England U21 international said.

"The stability for my family as well. I didn't want to be moving them all over the world. I wanted to get some stability in our lives. I thought it was the best thing for us at the time and we're happy."

The 2019 campaign was frustrating for Mancienne as he struggled with injury, missing 12 consecutive games from May 9 to July 28.

There was renewed optimism for the current campaign after Mancienne built momentum with an injury-free preseason, until the coronavirus pandemic put football on hold.

MLS played two rounds of the 2020 season before it was announced on March 19 that games would be suspended for eight weeks.

The deadline has now been pushed back until June 8, which has come as a blow to Mancienne and his teammates, although the Revolution are doing their best to keep them fit.

"I was ill in preseason, but I haven't been injured, touch wood. The preparations were really good. Everyone was really excited for the season, and then all of this stuff happened.

"[We were] pretty confident. I felt like we built on where we ended up last season after a tough start to the season, we finished pretty strongly and I felt we were ready to kick on from where we left off.

"Obviously people's safety and health are way more important than a football game. We want to be in the routine of training and playing games, so it's strange to be stuck at home.

"The sports scientist guys have put a program together for us to crack on. They even delivered us a bike to where we live, so we can work out on that as well."

Mancienne's second season at New England saw a change in management when United States legend Bruce Arena replaced Brad Friedel last May.

Under Arena's leadership, the Revolution snuck into the play-offs with only one loss from their last nine regular season matches.

"I enjoy working under him (Arena)," Mancienne adds. "He's really relaxed and easy to speak too. He's always open for you to go and talk to him.

"All his staff are really nice guys, I get along with them really well. At the moment I'm really enjoying myself."

Mancienne begun his career as a nine-year-old at Chelsea and eventually made his way up to the first-team, where he learnt from such legendary defenders as John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho.

After spells at Hamburg and Nottingham Forest, Mancienne admits he is now revels in giving advice to the Revolution's rookies.

"Yeah most definitely. I do obviously try and help the younger players, especially the rookies as they call them over here," he continues.

"If they ever want advice they do come to me and I give them the best advice from my experience that I can give them. But I'm always trying to lead by example and be the best professional I can be."


Follow Andrew Maclean on Twitter: @andrewmaclean30

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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