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From Belgium: Dutch U21 international confirms Manchester City interest in him

Dutch youth international Arnaut Groeneveld Danjuma has confirmed reports from May that Manchester City were looking to sign him during the summer transfer window.

Groeneveld was tipped to join City from NEC Nijmegen and might then have headed to partner club NAC Breda on loan, but Belgian side Club Brugge pulled off a coup, beating City and a host of other clubs to sign the 21-year-old.

Nigeria-born Groeneveld had interest from England, Germany and France, and specifically named the Premier League champions as one of those who wanted him – going on to explain why he turned down the opportunity.

“I deliberately chose Club Brugge,” Groeneveld told Sport/Voetbalmagazine. “There was also interest from Germany, England and France. I follow my feelings always. How this works exactly, I can’t explain, but this just felt right. Club Brugge really wanted me and I was happy with their attention.

“When I came here, it was immediately clear to me that compared to all of the others club interested – even Manchester City wanted me – that I can develop the best here.”

City have made a habit of snapping up young talent in recent years, often to strengthen partner clubs such as NAC, or to try and make an eventual profit on. Groeneveld would certainly not have entered Pep Guardiola’s short-term plans, and felt stable first-team football in Brugge would benefit him better at this stage of his career.

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