Former Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin reveals Manchester City paid his release clause in 2015 but Diego Simeone said he would QUIT the Spanish giants if Uruguayan star left
- Manchester City were in hot pursuit of the ever-consistent Diego Godin in 2015
- The English giants paid even more than his release clause to try and sign Godin
- But Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone was desperate to see him stay at club
- Simeone threatened to quit the Spanish giants if the centre back departed
Former Atletico Madrid centre back Diego Godin has revealed how close Manchester City came to signing him back in 2015 only for Diego Simeone to get his own way in the end.
The veteran centre back, who now plays his football in Serie A for Cagliari, became an icon at Atletico Madrid after playing a remarkable 389 games for the club over a successful nine-year spell.
However, things could have turned out very differently for Godin, who has admitted that Atletico boss Simeone threatened to quit if the stalwart left the club in 2015 after Premier League giants City paid more than his £28million release clause.
Diego Godin was one of the best centre backs around in world football while at Atletico Madrid
Diego Simeone threatened to quit as Atletico boss if Godin departed for Man City in 2015
In an interview with Spanish paper AS, when asked if the story was true, Godin revealed: ‘Yes, that was the summer of 2015. Manchester City came and paid more than my clause, because I wanted to do it on good terms.
‘And I was negotiating with Atletico and City was pressing, Cholo (Simeone) found out in Japan, because the team was touring Asia, although I was in Madrid because I had returned later from the America’s Cup.
‘Everyone closed ranks, I remember Gabi, Raul Garcia, Tiago, all my team-mates and Cholo too and he said: “If Godín goes, I’ll go.” That’s what Cholo said and the next day he was renovating. They are gestures that I have to thank.
‘Actually, that shows what group there was. Within that group I had and have friends. Soccer happens, but what you have left are friends and people who love me to this day.’
Manuel Pellegrini was hopeful of bringing in Godin to shore things up in defence at the Etihad
Manuel Pellegrini was manager of City at the time and was hoping to shore up his defence after struggles the season before, but Atletico were desperate to keep hold of such a key component of their team.
After arriving in the Spanish capital in 2010, the Uruguayan defender had established himself as one of the best centre backs in world football.
Godin, now 35, won one LaLiga title, one Copa del Rey and two Europa League’s with Atletico – while also finishing runner-up twice in the Champions League.
After nine stellar years in Madrid, Godin moved to Inter Milan in 2019 on a free transfer.
However, after surprisingly struggling to make an impact at San Siro, he swiftly joined fellow Serie A outfit Cagliari in the summer of 2020.
Veteran centre back Godin (left) is now playing his football in Serie A for Cagliari
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