Former Atletico Madrid centre-back Diego Godin has revealed that Manchester City offered the La Liga side a fee in excess of his release clause in 2015, forcing Diego Simeone to threaten to leave the club as a result.
The now 35 year-old plays his football in Serie A for Cagliari, but registered almost 300 appearances for the La Liga side over a nine-year spell in Madrid.
Speaking exclusively to newspaper AS this week, Godin has revealed the circumstances that almost took him to the Etihad Stadium, but in turn, caused such a stir to keep him at the Estadio Vicente Calderón.
Godin said, "That was the summer of 2015. Manchester City came and paid more than my [release] clause, because I wanted to do it [leave] on good terms. I was negotiating with Atlético and City were pressing."
"Cholo [Diego Simeone] found out in Japan, because the team was touring Asia, although I was in Madrid because I had returned later from the America's Cup. Everyone closed ranks, I remember Gabi, Raúl García, Tiago, all my teammates and Cholo too, and he said: "If Godín goes, I'll go."
Diego Godin went on to reveal his gratitude for the exceptional gestures of his former colleagues.
"They are gestures that I have to thank", Godin said. "Actually, that shows what group there was. Within that group, I had and have friends. Soccer happens, but what you have left are friends and people who love me to this day."
The summer of 2015 was one of significant movement in terms of transfers at the Etihad Stadium, with City officials securing the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, and possibly the alternative to Diego Godin - Nicolas Otamendi.
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