Kyle Walker has revealed he was “close” to joining Bayern Munich in the summer but is now set to sign a new contract at Manchester City.
The City right-back was the subject of strong interest from the German giants during the close season and, coupled with uncertainty over his future at the Etihad Stadium, he admits he was seriously tempted.
The 33-year-old had a spell out of favour last spring and, although he regained his place towards the end of the treble-winning campaign, was left out of the starting line-up for the Champions League final in June.
Walker has won the Premier League five times since joining City in 2017 (John Walton/PA)
As he entered the final year of his contract, Bayern turned his head with an attractive package but, with City later offering what is understood to be a two-year extension, Walker opted to stay put.
“It was close but in football things can happen,” Walker said. “Decisions can be made, things can turn. It wasn’t meant to be.
“Would I have enjoyed the experience? Of course I would, but this is a great club and you can’t underestimate what this club has done in the last six or seven years.
“Why should I walk away if I am going to get enough game time that’s right for me? That is all I want.
“It was about who gave me the most years. It wasn’t like I was going to a worse club because Bayern Munich is a massive club and seeing what Harry (Kane) is doing there and will do, it wasn’t a step down.
“In the back of my head I always wanted to play for Manchester City but I had to do what was right for me and my future. It was just about which club gave me the years in my contract to play football at the highest level.”
The speculation linking Walker with Bayern was at its most intense in July, just as City played the Bundesliga club during a pre-season friendly in July.
To some surprise at the time, Walker not only started for City but took the captain’s armband.
He said: “I am a Manchester city player. I am contracted to them so what do you want me to do? Turn round and say ‘I am not playing because I want to force a move to Bayern Munich’?
“That is not me as a person. I have a contract with the club and I will play for the club until the contract (ends) or they sell me – and I wasn’t sold.”
Walker, who joined City from Tottenham in 2017, says confirmation of the new deal which would commit him to the reigning Premier League champions was imminent.
“The extension is coming,” said Walker, who has five title-winner’s medals. “It’s my seventh season here and I feel like one of the old ones.
“I love the place. I’ve experienced things I only dreamt of here – especially the last season – so why would you want to leave a club like this?”
Walker (right) has won five Premier League titles since joining City in 2017 (Carl Recine/PA)
Walker is also keen to take on the City captaincy full-time with manager Pep Guardiola planning to hold a squad vote to identify Ilkay Gundogan’s replacement in the coming weeks.
He said: “The vote hasn’t been yet. They like to do it after the transfer window is closed.
“It is an honour of privilege, of course I want it. If you can’t pass on your knowledge and life experiences on or off the field, I shouldn’t be playing at a great club like this.”