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Harry Maguire Breaks Silence On Why He Chose ‘Iconic’ Manchester United Over Manchester City

Alex Reid

Published 

Harry Maguire Breaks Silence On Why He Chose ‘Iconic’ Manchester United Over Manchester City

Harry Maguire was opened up over the reason he chose Manchester United over Manchester City, despite talking directly to Pep Guardiola back in 2019.

The defender had a choice to make in 2019 as both Manchester clubs were interested in signing Maguire from Leicester.

The centre-back eventually moved to United for £80 million and explained to Gary Neville in an exclusive interview on Sky Bet's The Overlap show that the reason was simple: the size and stature of Manchester United.

"They were both interested and I spoke to Manchester City and I spoke to Manchester United," said Maguire when asked if he was part of a bidding war that summer. "But I must say, I grew up watching Manchester United teams.

"No disrespect to Manchester City, but I grew up watching a lot more of Manchester United football; Old Trafford; the iconic [appeal] of being at one of the biggest clubs in the world - if not the biggest.

"So I always had my heart set on this club."

The 28-year-old explained that he initially spoke to then United manager Jose Mourinho in 2018 after his excellent displays for England during the World Cup. But he promised Leicester that he'd wait another season before departing - and after that came Maguire's chat with City boss Guardiola.

"I spoke to Pep and obviously [I respect] the football that they play and what he's done for the club," said Maguire on whether he was tempted by City. "Great respect for Pep and the evolution that he's brought to football, but - like I said - it was Manchester United.

"My heart was set from the amount of interest that they showed in me, it gave me great confidence and belief. For them to pursue it over a 12-15 month period of time just shows how much they believed in me and how much they felt like I would be a big part of the team."

Maguire, who was made United captain after his arrival, also shared what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told him the first time they spoke - and explained that he knew his early spell at the club would be a challenge.

"The first time I spoke with Ole, he just told me how much he felt I could come in and improve the team," he told Neville.

"It was a time when, Manchester United as a club wasn't where it needed to be - on the field they were struggling, conceding a lot of goals defensively and I knew that I wasn't going to be the final part of the jigsaw.

"So I knew I was going to sign for Manchester United for what's obviously a huge fee - and there would be times we'd concede goals, we'd lose games and scrutiny would come and I'd have to handle it. Because I knew I couldn't go into that team and all of a sudden win the league by five points. It just wasn't possible.

"I just had to go into that team and make sure we improved and that we improved each year - and we're doing that, but we've still got a long way to go."

Elsewhere in the interview, Maguire named his centre-back idols growing up as Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, while also revealing the one-word advice that Sir Alex Ferguson gave to himself and Luke Shaw: "Concentration".

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Manchester City, Harry Maguire, Manchester United, Premier League

Alex Reid
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