Hull City defender Paul McShane has admitted that he felt that it was necessary to leave Manchester United in order to further his career.
The 27-year-old defender began his career at Old Trafford as a youth in 2002 and departed in 2006 for West Bromwich Albion, without making his senior debut for the Red Devils. Acknowledging that the competition with the Manchester club was stiff, McShane requested a transfer from the club after a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson.
"There was a lot of competition at United, the likes of Jonny Evans and Gerard Pique," he told the Irish Examiner. "I got that. Your sixth sense picks up those things.
"I had a year left on my contract at Man United and I went in to see Alex Ferguson. I ended up handing in a transfer request to go. They were interesting times!"
The Hull City defender, who has since enjoyed spells with West Brom and Sunderland as well as loan spells at Barnsley and Crystal Palace, also moved to dismiss rumours surrounding his departure from Old Trafford, insisting that his main desire was to play first team football.
"There's a lot of stories going around about me in those meetings," said the defender. "There's one when I supposedly offered Gerard Pique out for a race in the car park because Alex Ferguson had said he was quicker than me."
He continued: "These stories have a habit of growing arms and legs but I was desperate to play. I'd seen people at Man United coming back from loans and rotting away in the reserves after playing senior football. My only aim was improving all the time so I felt as though I had to do it.
"People will say you've got to want it but I reckon I wanted it too much. I've probably matured and I'm ready to go with the flow a bit more now, but the Premier League is where every single player would love to be," concluded McShane.