Kevin De Bruyne agreed to join Bayern Munich before moving to Manchester City, his agent Patrick De Koster has revealed.
City fought off competition from across Europe last summer to bring the Belgium international, last season's Bundesliga Player of the Year, to the Etihad Stadium in a £54.5m deal from Wolfsburg - the second highest transfer fee paid by a British football club.
However, according to his agent, De Bruyne was on the brink of remaining in Germany, with only Bayern's unwillingness to match Wolfsburg's valuation for the 24-year-old preventing the move.
"Kevin's heart was beating for the Bundesliga, where he broke through at Bremen and became a star at Wolfsburg," De Koster told SportFootMagazine.
"I'm convinced he would have played for Bayern if they had been able to pay the asking price.
"We reached a personal agreement with Bayern after two meetings. The deal collapsed on the asking price.
"I think that Bayern wanted to pay 50m euros, but not a euro more."
De Bruyne has been a revelation since making the move to England, scoring 11 goals in 27 appearances for City and making eight assists in the Premier League - second only behind Mesut Ozil.
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And De Koster believes his client's performances on the pitch show he is happy and has adapted to life at City.
"In the end City won the race and Kevin is super happy with his move," he added. "He adapted fast on and off the pitch."