Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has sensationally revealed how he turned down the chance to join Manchester United as a teenager, but insists he has no regrets about the decision because he "had other priorities" at the time of the local rivals' enquiry.
The Belgium international's claim comes in the build-up to Sunday's all-important derby clash at Old Trafford, and the reigning Premier League champions know they will need to pick up all three points if they are going to have any chance of defending their domestic crown.
Manuel Pellegrini's side travel to the Theatre of Dreams off the back of three consecutive defeats, and with the Red Devils in a rich vein of form at the moment Kompany knows it's going to be a difficult challenge.
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However, the centre-back is adamant that the Citizens go there as equals and has confidence in his team-mates they can get the job done, as they look to close the gap on runaway leaders Chelsea at the top of the table.
Reflecting on the time that Sir Alex Ferguson came calling for his signature as a burgeoning 17-year-old talent plying his trade at Anderlecht, Kompany recalls the strict upbringing he'd had in his homeland with a focus on getting qualifications before turning his attention to forging a career in professional football.
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“United asked about me, but I had other priorities at the time," he was quoted saying by the Sunday Mirror. "I was studying for my A-levels and my mother made me finish my education before I could concentrate on football.
“But I’ve got to say that everything has played out perfectly for me in my career. It’s a massive honour to be captain of this club and I can tell you that I feel really good.
"I have put my sweat and blood into Manchester City. I’m passionate about the club and I want success as much as the owners.”
Despite rejecting the Red Devils' advances the £200,000-a-week star was always destined to reach the top, and ended up signing for the blue side of Manchester via Hamburg in a £6 million deal back in 2008.
Louis van Gaal will probably wish he could call upon Kompany's services for what is sure to be another highly charged encounter between two fierce rivals this afternoon, but as fate would have it it's the away team dressing room that the Belgian will be part of.
Manchester United fans: Would you have liked to see Vincent Kompany move to Old Trafford? Do you think deep down the 29-year-old wishes he made the transfer all those years ago? Share your thoughts below...