Harry Maguire reveals why he turned down Man City for Man Utd in 2019

Martin Macdonald
Harry Maguire reveals why he turned down Man City for Man Utd in 2019

Harry Maguire says he chose Manchester United over Manchester City in 2019 as he dreamed of playing for the Red Devils as a youngster.

At Leicester, Maguire developed into one of the most impressive defenders in the Premier League, and would soon become the most expensive defender in history after Man Utd paid £80 million to acquire him in the summer of 2019.

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At that time, Man City were believed to have been interested too, but Maguire opted for Man Utd as they were the team he grew up wanting to play for.

“They were both interested,” the Man Utd captain said of his current side and Man City on Gary Neville’s The Overlap podcast.

“I spoke to both Man City and Man United, but I must say, and no disrespect to Man City, but I grew up watching a lot more of Manchester United football at Old Trafford, being at one of the biggest clubs in the world, if not the biggest, so I always had my heart set on this club.

“I spoke to Pep and the football that they play and what he’s done for the club, I have great respect for Pep and the evolution he has brought to football, but it was Man United.

“My heart was set from the amount of interest they showed in me. It gave me great confidence and belief and for them to pursue it for a 12 to 15-month period of time showed how much they believed in me and how much they felt like I would be a big part of the team.”

Mourinho wanted Maguire

It was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who eventually sanctioned the big-money move for Maguire, but the player himself has revealed that Man Utd wanted him in 2018 when Jose Mourinho was still the manager.

At that time, he remained with Leicester after coming to an agreement with chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

“With my age, I felt like I owed Leicester a lot,” the England international continued.

“I spoke to Vichai [Srivaddhanaprabha] and he said they’d had a lot of interest from Manchester United when Jose [Mourinho] was the manager and he said ‘give me one more year, and I’ll let you go’.

“So I didn’t really push anything and as soon as I heard about the interest from United, it was something that I knew I had my heart set on and I knew I wanted to play for that club.

“But I think the age that I was, maybe 25 years old, I always knew that I had time on my hand and Vichai stuck to his word.”