Sport Soccer

Thursday 19 April 2018

Michael Keane reveals why he turned down a return to Manchester United and signed for Everton instead

Ronald Koeman believes his young defender is suffering from a lack of confidence. AFP/Getty Images
Ronald Koeman believes his young defender is suffering from a lack of confidence. AFP/Getty Images

Evan Bartlett

Michael Keane has revealed that Manchester United came close to signing him this summer but he opted for a move to Everton instead.

The former Burnley defender came through the United academy as a youngster and his family are all fans of the club but he admitted he had fallen a little bit out of love after his years away.

“(United) were in touch with my agent and showed a lot of interest,” Keane told The Times. “They wanted me, but a few things happened and I thought Everton would be the best place for me to come.

“I thought I would get a lot of game time here, more than I possibly would at Manchester United, and that was a massive factor in my decision.

“To be honest, having been at Burnley for three years, I wasn’t a fan of the club like I used to be. I wasn’t as big a fan of Man United as I had been, so I had to sort of put that to one side and just think rationally about what would be best for me as a footballer.”

Keane eventually signed for Everton for a fee of £30m but has made an inauspicious start to life at Goodison Park.

Following Everton’s embarrassing loss to Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday, manager Ronald Koeman said his young defender was suffering from low confidence and looked “afraid”.

“Keane is normally our best centre back in our ball possession. Maybe now he has doubts in his football. If you have doubts instead of going on the front [foot] in defending you make a step back. That’s all about confidence,” Koeman said.

“You don’t go, always you step back if you are afraid. And I can name more players who are not performing and that are struggling. That altogether makes the team weak at this time.”

Independent News Service

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