Manchester United failed in their attempts to sign Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid this summer because the Spanish midfielder wanted to protect his legacy at Liverpool.
The Daily Mail reports how the 32-year-old turned down the opportunity to return to the Premier League, instead opting for a new challenge with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich where he'll link up with old foe Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena.
Guardiola of course enjoyed a four year spell in charge of Real Madrid's arch rivals Barcelona, before taking a sabbatical away from the game prior to his appointment with the Bavarian club last summer.
Alonso enjoyed five successful years at the Santiago Bernabeu, during which time he was coached by Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who was also credited with an interest in taking the former Reds star to Stamford Bridge.
However, Chelsea never appealed to the former World Cup and European Championship winner because of the risk of tainting his reputation among Anfield supporters - a club he excelled with in England between 2004 and 2009.
Man United interest
Louis van Gaal was believed to be keen to bring a player of Alonso's experience to Old Trafford this summer as well, as he looks to strengthen his midfield department at Manchester United this summer.
The Dutchman has already recruited Alonso's former Real Madrid team-mate Angel di Maria in a blockbuster £59.7 million deal, and along with the capture of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao has gone some way to solving a problem area in his squad.
But, with less than 72 hours remaining of the transfer window the Red Devils boss is eager to add further reinforcements, but Alonso will not be one of those new faces after he agreed terms with Bayern Munich, joining them for a bargain £5 million.
Looking to the future
Xabi Alonso quotes:
"I had five great years at Liverpool and I would rather just keep that memory as it is," he explained. "The interest came in from Bayern in the last two weeks and it's the right decision.
"At the end of last season I knew that winning the Champions League would usher in a new era for the club and I need to start a new era too. I detected that this might be the moment when it was right to leave.
"We fought hard to win the club's tenth European Cup after losing three semi-finals, it was a weight lifted and a good time to move on."
Liverpool were not one of the clubs courting Alonso's services which is surprising when you consider the amount of transfer activity that Brendan Rodgers has been involved in, bringing no fewer than nine new players to Merseyside this window.
Real Madrid eventually sanctioned the instrumental midfielder's departure following the arrival of Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich, after the World Cup winner rejected the offer of a new contract with the German giants.
Alonso comes in not only to replace Kroos but also act as cover for Thiago Alcantara and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who have both been sidelined by injury at the start of the new season.
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