Yaya Toure has revealed that he thought it was Manchester United and not Manchester City that had bid for his services during the 2010 summer transfer window.
Barcelona had made the towering midfielder available for £24million and a number of Europe's biggest clubs were lining up a move. Having been taken over by billionaire Shiek Mansour in 2008, Manchester City were busy investing hundreds of millions in the world's best players.
But despite being in the business of signing big names, Toure still refused to believe that it was the blue side of the city that were seeking his services. Indeed, when he heard a club from Manchester had bid for him, the Ivory Coast international just assumed it was Sir Alex Ferguson who had come calling.
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"When I was at Barcelona and initially approached by Manchester City I thought it was Manchester United that wanted me," he told the Daily Mail.
"At the time Manchester United were putting Manchester City in the shadows. It was unbelievable. Manchester United is a big club and I respect that club a lot."
When they launched a bid for Toure, the Sky Blues were still very much the "noisy neighbours" that Ferguson famously referred to in 2009. Despite hundreds of millions spent on strengthening the squad, City were still struggling to end their 34-year wait for silverware.
Naturally, Toure had some hesitation before joining the Citizens and saw joining Roberto Mancini's men as a significant risk. But after winning an FA Cup, two League Cups and two Premier League titles in the subsequent six seasons, it is fair to say that the gamble paid off.
He continued: "It was a big challenge but I came because I knew they were going to succeed and we would win trophies, compete with the big clubs and with Manchester United.
"This was the king of club I wanted to have a story with and make history with. I made a good choice."
Despite obviously happy with his haul of trophies since moving to the Etihad, it seems Toure's love affair with Manchester will come to an end this summer.
The 32-year-old has a difficult relationship with incoming manager Pep Guardiola, who was in charge of Barcelona when he was sold, and is unlikely to last beyond the upcoming transfer window.
His agent, Dimitri Seluk, recently said: "We have waited too long. Manchester City promised a deal but nothing has materialised so Yaya will leave in June.
"Yaya is disappointed, of course. But he is a professional and he remains under contract so he will continue to do his best for City. Various offers have arrived for Yaya and we're evaluating them, but no decision has been taken yet for next season."
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