Argentine chests extra-time winner against Estudiantes as Catalans win Club World Cup.
|Veron in action in the European Champions League for Inter Milan in 2006 [GALLO/GETTY]|
Former Manchester United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron has turned down a personal offer from Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini to join the English Premier League club.
The 34-year-old Estudiantes captain told the radio station La Red that he was phoned by Mancini, a former teammate of his in Italy and his coach at Inter Milan, to make the offer.
But the veteran Argentine international said he’d be “going against his convictions” to move back to England.
Veron’s representative Miguel Pires said in a radio interview on Tuesday that City had offered to pay Estudiantes $11.2 million and pay Veron the same amount.
And the player said he had rejected the offer out of hand.
“I presented the offer to the directors of the club Estudiantes so they could consider it, maybe it appeals to them,” said Veron.
“For my part there isn’t much thinking to do, my answer was instantaneous.
“It’s not possible at the moment and it’s not a question of money. My family and my affections are involved.”
Veron has a strong bond with Estudiantes, whom he led to the South American Libertadores Cup title in July and second place behind Barcelona in the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi last month.
“The fax arrived offering 7 million pounds (Sterling) for Sebastian and the same amount for the club,” Pires told the station on Tuesday.
“But Sebastian didn’t move a muscle, and neither did the vice president of the club.”
His performances for Estudiantes and Argentina have seen him voted South America’s top player for the last two years after a glittering career in Europe, especially Italy.
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,” said Veron, who donates part of his salary to Estudiantes’ youth scheme.
Veron led Estudiantes to the Copa Libertadores title last and has been one of the most consistent players on Argentina’s up-and-down national team coached by Diego Maradona.
He moved to Manchester United from Lazio in 2001 and later played with Chelsea, but had limited success with both English clubs before his move to Inter.