Argentina’s Juan Sebastian Veron turned down an offer from new Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini to join the Premier League club.
Veron was bought by Manchester United for £28 million in 2001 and moved to Chelsea for £15 million after two years, having made little impact. He returned in 2007 to the club where he began his career following two seasons playing for Mancini, at Internazionale. The two had formerly played together at Sampdoria and Lazio.
The 34-year-old Estudiantes captain told the radio station La Red that he was phoned by Mancini to make the offer.
“I presented the offer to the directors of the club (Estudiantes) so they could consider it, maybe it appeals to them. For my part there isn’t much thinking to do, my (negative) answer was instantaneous,” Veron said. “It’s not possible at the moment and it’s not a question of money… My family and my affections are involved.”
Veron led Estudiantes to the South American Libertadores Cup title in July and second place behind Barcelona in the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi last month. His performances for Estudiantes and Argentina have seen him voted South America’s top player for the last two years
Veron said he returned to his home town of La Plata in 2006 to see out his career with Estudiantes and try to lead them to more trophies after his father Juan Ramon helped the team lift the Libertadores Cup three times from 1968 to 1970.
“I took a decision and I want to respect it. I can’t leave, I’d be going against my convictions, I’d be letting myself and the fans down above all else,” added Veron, who donates part of his salary to Estudiantes’ youth scheme.
Veron’s agent Miguel Pires expanded on City’s offer.
“Veron said to me that he received a phone call from Mancini and that he had offered him £7 million and the same to Estudiantes for a one-year contract,” he revealed. “In addition, that amount would have been duplicated if he would have continued at Manchester City during 2011.”