Manchester City defender Kyle Walker has revealed he was “close” to joining Bayern Munich this summer after speculation over his future throughout the window but is now set to sign a new contract extension after all.
The long-serving Cityzen and England fullback is now one of the more senior players in Pep Guardiola‘s squad, having been there for six years and won everything there is to win with the club, but has now confirmed that talk of him going to the German giants wasn’t just concrete, it was nearly a done deal.
Speaking to BBC Sport after Man City’s emphatic 5-1 win over Fulham (yes, yet another hattrick from Erling Haaland), Walker said: “Decisions can be made, things can turn. It was close but in football, things can happen — it wasn’t meant to be.”
The 33-year-old is now set to sign his new deal in the coming days, one which will see him extend his stay at the Etihad until at least 2026.
The fan favourite Blue and England international told reporters, “Would I have enjoyed the experience? Of course I would, but this is a great club and you can’t underestimate what this club has done in the last six or seven years.”
On the other hand, Walker admitted, “Why should I walk away if I am going to get enough game time that’s right for me? That is all I want: I want to play football. I love the game and want to play, whether that’s here, Germany, Italy, Spain or in the Championship.”
“I wanted to play football so if I don’t feel that I am getting enough game time whether that is on X amount of pounds or no pounds… The money, I don’t care about it. You might say that’s a cliché, but I don’t care about it. I am just worried about my happiness and playing football.”
The former Spurs and Sheffield United right-back went on to say: “In the back of my head I always wanted to play for Manchester City but I had to do what was right for me and my future. It was just about which club gave me the years in my contract to play football at the highest level.”
After moving past the Bayern discussion, Walker reaffirmed the love for his time spent in Manchester thus far, assuring that the contract extension “is coming” whilst adding, “It’s my seventh season here and I feel like one of the old ones.”
“I love the place. I’ve experienced things I only dreamt of here – especially the last season – so why would you want to leave a club like this?” Midfielder Bernardo Silva found himself in a similar situation at the start of the season with interest from all over Europe but has also decided to stay for a while longer.
He also assured that he would never try and force a move to another club, insisting: “I am a Manchester City player. I am contracted to them so what do you want me to do? Turn around and say ‘I am not playing because I want to force a move to Bayern Munich’? That is not me as a person.
Manchester Storm offering cut-price tickets for blockbuster quarter-final against Sheffield
Local ice hockey starts Manchester Storm are taking a hit to their own pocket in an effort to help fans get to as many games as possible this winter by offering cut-price tickets to their upcoming Challenge Cup quarter-final on Thursday, 7 December.
As their exciting 2023/24 campaign continues, the Storm have found themselves amidst a run of home games in the space of a week and besides the test the players are now facing, they also know it presents a challenge to Manchester ice hockey fans who want don’t want to miss any of the action.
That being said, as they prepare to face league leaders Sheffield Steelers in the quarters this week in Altrincham, the Manc skaters have decided to reduce the cost of tickets across the board to pack out their barn as best they can.
It’s sure to be an electric night and a busy month at the Storm Shelter.
With the big fixture looming, the Trafford-based team are looking to continue their impressive turnouts so far this year and this cut-price rate will certainly help keep that trend going.
Notching the price of adult admission down by a fiver to just £18, the concession prices to just £15 and children tickets to a mere tenner for this highly-anticipated match-up, the Storm Support will no doubt be in full force even on a random Thursday night.
General sale is never that expensive to begin with and the local venue has been one of the most affordable and accessible places to watch live sport in Greater Manchester, but discounts like these make it an even better way to spend an evening midweek.
The home team head into the Challenge Cup quarter-final against the high-flying Yorkshiremen following a 4-3 loss to the Glasgow Clanand will face off against the Fife Flyers just two days later before back-to-back away trips to Belfast in the league on 15 and 16 December.
In just 10 competitive games across all competitions at home this season, Manchester Storm have welcomed over 18,700 supporters through the doors of the Storm Shelter, a.k.a. Planet Ice over in Alty.
With two sellout games already this campaign and plenty of others close to capacity no matter the day of the week, their 60% increase in season ticket sales alone shows just how fast the fan base is growing.
Doors for Storm vs Steelers this Thursday, 7 December open at 6:30pm with the face-off set for 7:30pm — let’s get behind our lads, you lot!
Club de Padel – The world’s fastest-growing sport is finally coming to Manchester this month
The world’s fastest-growing sport is finally about to arrive in Manchester – and in a seriously impressive location.
Club de Padel is taking shape at the foot of the Deansgate Square skyscrapers and has officially locked in a launch date.
With four state-of-the-art panoramic courts, the new sports club will be bringing the global sports phenomenon to the city centre for the first time.
It will also have one of the city’s most popular brunch spots and coffee shops, Federal, on site to provide caffeine, snacks, and a selection of drinks in the evenings.
For those unfamiliar, Padel is a mash-up of tennis and squash, where players are enclosed by walls and can play the ball off any wall.
The sport was first invented in Mexico in the late 1960s but has exploded in popularity across Europe in recent years, drawing legions of famous fans.
Andy Murray, David Beckham, Pep Guardiola and Serena Williams have all declared themselves fans, and Lionel Messi went so far as to install a Padel court at his home.
Co-founder James Wigglesworth says: “We can’t get over the support we’ve had from the city so far, our inbox hasn’t stopped with people asking when we’re opening, when they can book, how they can learn to play – it’s been great.
“We’ve also discovered a hardcore element of ‘paddicts’ who travel miles every week to play and are just delighted that we’re landing on their doorstep.”
Club de Padel is partnering with Adidas and HEAD on its equipment and will have one of the UK’s top padel competitors, Alberto Cubero Torregrosa, as head coach.
Alberto said: “I can’t wait to get started at Club de Padel. Having grown up in Malaga, I have been playing padel for over 25 years, so I’m delighted to see it finally arrive in Manchester, where I now call home.
“It is important to me that everyone can enjoy this amazing sport, so it doesn’t matter if you are a complete beginner or an experienced player, I am committed to helping you improve and have fun while doing it.”
Club de Padel will officially open its doors on Tuesday 19 December, with bookings open from 5 December for Padel+ members and general public bookings from 12 December.