Cagliari defender Diego Godin admits he was close to joining Manchester City in 2015, but Diego Simeone threatened to resign if he had left Atletico.
The Uruguay international played nine years with the Colchoneros before moving to Inter in 2019.
However, he could have left the La Liga giants much earlier.
“It was the summer of 2015, and Manchester City were open to paying a fee exceeding my release clause. I was negotiating with Atletico Madrid, and City were pushing to sign me.
“Simeone was in Japan, but he was informed about negotiations, and everyone gathered. Gabi, Raul Garcia and Tiago, for example. Simeone said: ‘If Diego leaves, then I am leaving too.’
“A few days later, I was close to extending my contract with Atletico Madrid. That proves what kind of group we had.”
Godin joined Cagliari from Inter last summer.
The 35-year-old has 19 appearances with the Sardinians so far this season.