'Man City wanted me' - Atletico defender Godin admits to interest during Pellegrini's reign

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The Uruguayan has been one of the world's leading defenders for some time now and was the target for an ambitious Premier League side at one stage

Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin has admitted to being a transfer target for Manchester City during Manuel Pellegrini’s time at the club.

The Chilean was in charge at the Etihad Stadium from 2013 to 2016, overseeing a Premier League title triumph and two League Cup wins.

While enjoying plenty of success with City, Pellegrini was eager to reinforce his ranks with the acquisition of a fellow South American.

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Godin had previously worked under the experienced coach at Villarreal, with the pair retaining a professional admiration for one another after parting ways.

“It’s true that two years ago, City wanted me when he [Pellegrini] was there,” Godin told the Daily Mail.

“I’m proud that he wanted me but I feel like just another fan of this club. I’m very happy here. I didn’t feel that it was the moment to leave.”

Godin is now 31 years of age and an established part of an Atletico side that has enjoyed La Liga title success and productive Champions League runs with him at the heart of their defence.

Antoine Griezmann

He is no longer generating intense transfer speculation, but team-mate Antoine Griezmann continues to dominate the headlines.

Interest in the Frenchman is no surprise to Godin, although he remains confident that it can be seen off and the services of a key man retained.

“There’s no big mystery to why he has succeeded here,” he added.

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“He came to a place where he fitted perfectly, where he was loved. 

“There are people, coaches and players, who fit in certain places. All players don’t fit into all teams and not every manager can manage every team. His place was Atletico.”

Godin and Griezmann will be in England on Tuesday looking to see off the challenge of Leicester City and book their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

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