Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that he tried to convince former captain Vincent Kompany to extend his contract at Etihad Stadium, before his move to Anderlecht.
The former Belgium international ended an 11-year spell in the north-west during the summer to kick-start his coaching career as a player-manager with Anderlecht.
“I tried to convince Vincent a lot to stay one more year with us – a lot,” Guardiola said, quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“In the last weeks, I said ‘no, no, no you are not going to leave me’ but he left me. When these guys take the decision it is taken.”
Kompany made 360 appearances for Manchester City across all competitions – second only to David Silva as the club’s most capped player of all time.
Despite appearing to have ample cover in defence following Kompany’s departure, centre-back has actually been a real problem position for Manchester City this season.
Aymeric Laporte has been missing with a long-term injury, while John Stones and Nicolás Otamendi have both had spells out of the side.
Youth team star Eric García hasn’t developed as much as the club had hoped and so far only has three league appearances to his name this season, with Fernandinho often having to play out of position to provide cover in defence.
It’s not just City who have struggled since Kompany’s departure during the summer either, as his new team Anderlecht won just one of their opening eight games this season.
The Belgian side have since had a turn in form and have only lost one game since, but Anderlecht are still 22 points away from the top of the table and are sitting seven points outside the top six.