Turning down Manchester United was tough, admits midfielder

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James will line up against United next season.
James will line up against United next season..

Matty James admits turning down a new contract offer from Manchester United was tough, but believes he has justified the decision with Leicester City this season.

With his contract at Old Trafford expiring in the summer of 2012, James found himself at a major crossroads in his career.

Manchester United were convinced of his ability and wanted to give the 22-year-old a fresh contract, but James believed first team football away from the club would benefit his development.

In a brave move, James turned down the contract offer from Manchester United and joined Championship side Leicester City.

The midfielder has now established himself at the King Power Stadium is looking forward to lining up at Old Trafford in the 2014/15 season after helping Leicester win promotion to the Premier League.

The former England under-20 international said the temptation to stay in the Manchester United reserves was tempting and leaving was a risk, but he's happy he did it.

James told the Leicester Mercury: "It was a difficult decision. I was coming off the back of quite a bad injury and I didn't know where my future lay.

"United offered me a contract but it wasn't enough in terms of security. I was a little nervous about staying.

"I spoke to my family, because we knew Leicester were interested. It is a club with great ambition and tradition, fantastic support and I knew it was a Premier League club in the making. It was just a question of how long it would take.

"I knew it wouldn't take long and I thought it was going to be last season.

"I knew when I signed here I could give it a really good go and the dream has come true. It will be a little weird to run out at Old Trafford next season.

"It was always my dream to run out as a United player, but now to run out as a Premier League player will be amazing.

"It will be a great day for all my family and I am sure it will be for all the lads here as well."

The Red Devils have since struggled to cope with life under David Moyes, Sir Alex Ferguson's successor, but will prove a strong challenge for James and Leicester when they face each other next season.

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