Manchester City captain and veteran England international Kyle Walker has revealed his attempts to quit the Etihad Stadium due to personal life problems.
The 33-year-old full-back was heavily linked with a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich over the summer months, with the German side looking to capitalise on a favourable contract situation and the potential desire for a new challenge from the player’s side.
City and Kyle Walker were fresh off the back of a historic Treble-winning campaign, and a number of Pep Guardiola’s squad became open to the idea of a new challenge in their careers, with Ilkay Gundogan joining FC Barcelona and players heading to Saudi Arabia.
Speaking during an exclusive interview with The Sun this week, Walker admitted that while he did not want to leave Manchester City for footballing reasons, there was an internal urge to escape the pending hostile public reaction to media coverage of his private life issues.
“I tried to escape. Did I want to leave City? No, of course I didn’t. We’re the best team in the world at the minute. But it was a chance to get away from England and the media I was going to get,” Walker explained.
He continued, “I was aware the clock was ticking. I came very close to moving. We were having conversations. I was going to a great club, a massive club. But in the end I couldn’t go. If I’m in Germany and this happens, Annie leaves and I’m now in Germany on my own.
“My kids wouldn’t be around the corner where I can see them. There’s pain and emotion at the moment but I can go to the house, take the kids to school, and my little lad to football.”
Walker was appointed captain of Manchester City following the exit of Ilkay Gundogan last summer, after Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad voted on their updated leadership group following the changes made last summer.
It was confirmed in mid-September that while Kyle Walker would head up the senior leadership group at the Etihad Stadium, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Ruben Dias, and Bernardo Silva would make up the vice-captains in the squad.
Walker has already had the opportunity to lift two trophies this season, with Manchester City coming out on top in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in Greece and Saudi Arabia respectively.
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