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The Belgium international has revealed that he could have been playing for the red half of Manchester if his mum had let him sign...

Vincent Kompany has revealed that he may well have been running out for Manchester United now, rather than Manchester City, had his mother allowed him to join them as a 17-year-old.

The 23-year-old was a highly-rated defender on the books of Anderlecht at the time, but he was denied a move to Old Trafford because his mum wanted him to stay in Belgium and complete his studies.

The versatile Belgium international, who can play in defence or midfield, moved to Eastlands from Hamburg for £6 million last summer and insists he is not bitter at not being allowed to join the Red Devils, despite their success.

"The funny thing is, I didn't sign for United or one of the other big clubs, because I was still studying and my mother wanted me to finish school," Kompany is quoted as saying by The People.

"So I respected her advice and did that first. I'm happy with the decisions I made and there are no regrets. It was later that I started to look for different options."

The 6ft 4in stalwart believes he made the right decision to finish school and not join United or Chelsea, who were also interested in acquiring his services.

Kompany suffered an injury, which kept him away from football for two years as a youngster, and he feels that he may have had nothing to fall back on had he joined a big club and then suffered a reoccurrence.

"I could have signed for United or a lot of other clubs," Kompany added.

"If I'd been in a bigger club and got injured, like I was at a young age, I might just have been forgotten. I could easily have been cast aside.

"If I'd gone to United or Chelsea straight away, I'd have been on the bench first, as would be the case with every young player. And then going from the bench to being injured for two years is not really an ideal situation.

"I would still have been at square one. But now, if you look at Kompany, aged 17, playing Champions League against the progress I have made, then it is perfect because I know I can get to the top with City."

Ricky Brooks,