Harry Maguire reveals why he chose Manchester United over rivals City

Harry Maguire reveals why he chose Manchester United over rivals City when he left Leicester in 2019… and how Pep Guardiola couldn’t convince him despite a personal phone call

  • Harry Maguire attracted interest from both Manchester clubs back in 2019
  • He had to choose between United and City, and eventually went for the former
  • That is despite Pep Guardiola personally phoning him in a bid to secure signing
  • Maguire says he had his heart on United, having grown up watching the team 

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has opened up about his decision to choose Old Trafford over the Etihad, despite serious interest and a personal phone call from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Maguire left Leicester for a huge £80million fee in 2019, with both Manchester clubs desperate to secure his signature, but in the end the centre back opted for the red half of the city.

Speaking to Gary Neville for The Overlap, Maguire explained: ‘They were both interested, I spoke to Manchester City and I spoke to Manchester United. 

Harry Maguire has revealed why he chose Manchester United over Manchester City in 2019

Maguire says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told him how much he could help United when he joined

Pep Guardiola phoned Maguire in a bid to get him to sign for Manchester City from Leicester

‘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… great respect for him and what he’s done for football, but my heart was set. 

‘It gave me great confidence and belief, for [United] to pursue it over a 12, 15 month period, they showed how much they believed in me and how much I would be a big part of the team.’

When United first expressed their interest in Maguire, Jose Mourinho was in charge, before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came in and took the deal over the line.

Maguire, now 28, has revealed exactly what the United boss first said to him when he arrived at the club. 

Centre back Maguire has had to watch from the sidelines of late as he recovers from injury

‘The first time I spoke to Ole, he just told me how much he feels I can come in and improve the team,’ Maguire said. ‘It was a time where Manchester United wasn’t where it needed to be, they were conceding a lot of goals. 

‘I knew I wasn’t going to be the final part of the jigsaw, I knew the scrutiny would come. I had to come into the team and make sure we improved, and we are doing that… but we’ve got a long way to go.’

Maguire has taken his fair share of stick since arriving at Old Trafford, and he admits that when he initially arrived, he took some of the social media messages to heart, but has now managed to step back. 

‘When I first joined, I looked at [social media] too much,’ he admits. ‘It’s something we can look into, we can improve that [abuse of footballers]. I think I handle it quite well, I don’t read too much into it… it’s all about opinions, but the main opinion is the manager. It is hard to get away from social media, though. It’s not nice when you’re seeing negative things.’

The Overlap is a new YouTube channel from Gary Neville in partnership with Sky Bet. 

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