Kyle Walker was more than willing to quit Manchester City over the summer and re-join first club Sheffield United if they had been taken over and been able to offer him an appropriate deal, TEAMtalk can reveal.
Walker has been with the Cityzens since a £50m transfer from Tottenham back in summer 2017 in a deal that still leaves a sour taste in Danel Levy’s mouth. Indeed, since his sale, Levy has point-blank refused to sell any of Spurs’ leading stars to any of their rivals at the top end of the Premier League against his club’s wishes.
The move for Walker, however, has proved a raging success. He has won an astonishing 13 major honours in his six full seasons at the Etihad, including five Premier League titles and finally, last season, the UEFA Champions League.
In that time, Walker has amassed 261 appearances, scoring six goals and weighing in with 19 assists.
But with his deal entering its final year, Walker and City appeared destined to part ways this summer. And with the City stalwart overlooked from their starting line-up in the Champions League final, the player seemingly felt that his career under Pep Guardiola might have run its course.
To that end, Walker made clear to Guardiola his wish to leave and seek one final career challenge at the age of 33.
Indeed, interest in the player was not in short supply. Bayern Munich were hot on his trail and even held in-depth discussions with City over a potential deal.
Kyle Walker would have made Sheffield United move
But in the end City – and Guardiola in particular – persuaded Walker to sign a two-year extension that keeps him at City until summer 2026 and the ripe old age of 36.
However, transfer journalist Graeme Bailey says he’s been told by sources close to Walker that a firm and proper offer from Bramall Lane would likely have won the day had Sheffield United been able to package something together.
At the time, the Blades were open to a possible takeover and additional financial backing could have seen the South Yorkshire side – the team where Walker began his career – finance a move to bring Walker back.
As it was, a potential takeover at Bramall Lane did not materialise, with Guardiola ultimately persuading Walker to stay.
Bailey wrote for TEAMtalk: ‘Walker finished the season having won everything and he considered Bayern, but a move back to his beloved Blades was high up on his list of options.
‘At one point they looked like they would be able to come up with something, but it wasn’t meant to be.
‘Walker is now contracted to City to 2026 and looks like he will finish his career in Lancashire with City and not Yorkshire with the Blades.’