In a recent interview, Manchester United defender Harry Maguire admitted that he chose a move to Old Trafford over a switch to the Etihad Stadium in 2019, despite receiving a personal phone call from Pep Guardiola.
The England international completed an £80m move from Leicester City to Manchester United in 2019 but could have very easily ended up with the Citizens.
When speaking to Gary Neville for The Overlap, the centre-back revealed: “I grew up watching Manchester United, no disrespect to Manchester City… so I always had my heart set on this club.
“I spoke to Pep and obviously the football they play and what he’s done for the club… (I have) great respect for him and what he’s done for football, but my heart was set.”
Since joining United, the 28-year-old has become club captain and has gone on to make 107 appearances for the Red Devils, contributing five goals and five assists.
Whilst he has come under a lot of criticism at times, his performances this season were a key factor in United finishing second behind City, and their drop-off in form in recent fixtures in his absence emphasises just how important he is to Solskjaer’s side.
In 34 Premier League appearances in 2020/21, the centre-back contributed two goals and one assist, earning an impressive 7.04 average rating from WhoScored, which is higher than the average ratings of Man City centre-back duo Ruben Dias (6.91) and John Stones (7.03).
Guardiola is clearly a big fan of Maguire, having called him to try and convince him to join the Spaniard at the Etihad, whilst the 50-year-old also sung his praises earlier in the season, dubbing him “one of the best central defenders in the world.”
Therefore, whilst Maguire claims that he had his heart set on joining United, it is a shame that City couldn’t complete a deal for the £36m-rated defender, as he could have been an excellent addition at the Etihad.