Long-serving Manchester City defender Kyle Walker has decided against joining Bayern Munich in a massive transfer boost for the club.
According to The Athletic, the 33-year-old has changed his mind after discussing his future with the Spanish manager, having initially agreed to link up with the perennial German champions.
Walker’s future has turned into a soap opera this summer as the Bavarians fought tooth and nail to lure him to the Allianz Arena despite Man City’s reluctance to sanction a move.
Bayern had sealed a verbal agreement with the England international to join forces with Thomas Tuchel’s men but couldn’t find common ground with last season’s treble winners.
Tuchel was so desperate to land Walker that he convinced the Munich powerbrokers to go against the club’s policy of handing ageing stars short-term contracts, causing unrest in the dressing room.
Frustrated for being left on the bench in last season’s Champions League final against Inter Milan, the former Tottenham Hotspur right-back had thought about leaving the Etihad Stadium after six years.
Guardiola’s decision to drop Walker from the starting line-up in Istanbul came as a surprise, considering the Englishman had started 11 of Man City’s last 13 games down the final stretch of the 2022/23 season.
The Spaniard’s frequent tactical alterations almost backfired on him as Walker seemed determined to force his way out of Manchester in response to his Champions League omission.
However, Guardiola couldn’t let that happen, especially after severing ties with Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez this summer.
If the duo’s departures haven’t done enough damage, Bernardo Silva’s future remains up in the air amid talks linking him with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and the Saudi Pro League.
As for Bayern, Walker’s change of heart adds insult to injury after their pursuit of Tottenham’s Harry Kane suffered a knockout blow on Monday when Spurs rejected their third bid.
The 30-year-old is leaning towards staying at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the final year of his contract.
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