Having swapped Turf Moor for Goodison Park in a deal worth £25m this summer, Everton defender Michael Keane has now revealed why he rejected Manchester United in favour of a career in Merseyside, in an interview with The Times.
The Manchester-born defender was part of the United academy, however, loan spells with Leicester City, Derby County, Blackburn, and Burnley were unable to convince the hierarchy at Old Trafford to give Keane a chance. In 2015, the former Republic of Ireland U19 international swapped Manchester for Burnley on a permanent basis, leaving the Red Devils for £2.3m.
"They [United] were in touch with my agent and showed a lot of interest," Keane said. "They wanted me, but a few things happened and I thought Everton would be the best place for me to come. I thought I would get a lot of game time here, more than I possibly would at Manchester United, and that was a massive factor in my decision.
"To be honest, having been at Burnley for three years, I wasn't a fan of the club like I used to be. I wasn't as big a fan of Man United as I had been, so I had to sort of put that to one side and just think rationally about what would be best for me as a footballer.
"My family are all Man United fans so it was not an easy decision. My dad would have been delighted if I had signed for United. But he is glad I have come to Everton and not Liverpool, put it that way."
Keane will return to his old stomping ground this Sunday when Everton take on Manchester United at Old Trafford.
A game that is full of reunions, Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini will welcome their old side to Manchester, while Wayne Rooney joins Keane as the English pair return to Old Trafford, as a Blue, for the first time.