Paddy McNair has confirmed that it was his decision to leave Manchester United on a permanent transfer last summer after defying Jose Mourinho, who wanted the defender to go on loan.
The Northern Irishman sealed a permanent switch to Sunderland in a £5.5m ($7m) deal last summer after having spent his entire career with the Old Trafford club. McNair was highly rated in Manchester and made the breakthrough under Louis van Gaal during the 2014/15 campaign.
The 21-year-old made 27 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils under the Dutchman. He showed versatility and could be deployed as a central defender, full-back or a defensive midfielder. However, he was not guaranteed regular game time following the arrival of the Portuguese manager last summer.
First-team fringe players Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira were sent out on loan and McNair was offered a similar opportunity by the manager. But the defender refused the offer and revealed that he made it clear to the United hierarchy that he wanted out on a permanent basis.
David Moyes was aware of the player's quality and sealed a move for the defender following his appointment as the Black Cats' manager. Donald Love, another young full-back, who had broken into the United first-team under Van Gaal, also joined the Northern Irishman in moving to the Stadium of Light.
"He wanted me to go on loan and I went in to see Jose and just said 'look, if you don't let me go on a permanent, I'm just going to stay here'," McNair was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
"That's how strongly I thought about it. At the time, it's what I wanted so I've got no regrets. I think he quite liked how I was straight up. I said I wanted to leave, that I didn't want to go on loan.
"I think he respected that. I told him that I'd been here since I was 12-years-old and club could at least let me do what I want to do. I spoke to Ed Woodward and said the same to him. I was refusing to go on loan basically. I just wanted a new challenge and off I went."