Kyle Walker has disclosed that he came “close” to joining Bayern Munich in the summer but is now set to sign a new contract at Manchester City.
The 33-year-old England full-back helped City become only the second English team to complete the Treble last season.
However, his future at Etihad Stadium appeared in doubt during pre-season amid strong interest from the German giants.
Opening up on how he came close to leaving Manchester City for Bayern Munich, Kyle Walker said:
“I had to do what was right for me and my future and that was whichever club gave me the most years.
“It’s my seventh season here and I feel like one of the old ones, there’s me, Kevin, John [Stones], Bernardo and Eddy [Ederson] from the first couple of seasons when Pep came in.
“I love the place, I’ve experienced things I only dreamt of here, especially last season, so why would you want to leave a club like this?
“It wasn’t like I was going to a worse club, because Bayern is a massive club, and seeing what Harry [Kane] is doing there and will do, it wasn’t a step down. It was just which club gave me the years in my contract to play football at the highest level.
“It was close [joining Bayern]. But in football, things happen, things can turn. It wasn’t meant to be. Would I have enjoyed the experience?
“Of course I would have done. But this club is a great club and you can’t under- estimate what this club has done in the last six or seven years. Why should I walk away if I’m going to get enough game-time that’s right for me? That’s all I want.”
Walker further revealed that he made the decision to stay after dinner with Guardiola. He added;
“We’ve got a really good relationship and he was kind enough to invite me out for food. He paid the bill – for once!
“It was good to know his plans for the future and for this season and what he wants to do. Being one of the senior members – and standing in as captain while Kevin goes through what he’s gone through – it was important to get Pep’s views and put my view of what the lads feel for the season going forward.”
City’s general policy of not offering longer-term deals to veteran players appears to have been waived in the case of Walker, who will be 36 by the time the new contract expires.
And it proved a prescient piece of business, with the long-term injury to De Bruyne leaving a vacuum in leadership.