Vincent Kompany has ended his 11-year association with Manchester City and been appointed player-manager of Belgian side Anderlecht.
The 33-year-old joined the Brussels club at the age of six, and his career has now come full circle after a trophy-laden stint at City.
He announced on his Facebook page: "I choose to be grateful for the past but remain ambitious and driven for the future.
"For the next three years, I will take up the role of player-manager of Anderlecht. Belgium's finest.
"This may come as a surprise to you. It's the most passionate yet rational decision I've ever made."
Kompany revealed that he had met with Anderlecht chairman Marc Coucke and sporting director Michael Verschueren last summer.
"I shared my thoughts and listened to their vision for the future: ambitious, courageous and determined to get back to number one," he wrote.
"I offered my help, no strings attached, should they need it."
Kompany says he was then offered the player-manager job in the last few weeks.
"I want to share my knowledge with the next purple generations," he continued.
"With that, I will also put a bit of Manchester in the heart of Belgium. This is no goodbye. It's a see you later."
The central defender was signed by Mark Hughes from German club Hamburg in the summer of 2008, days before the Sheikh Mansour takeover.
He became a key figure in the success which followed and leaves City having won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups.
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Liverpool misfit Lazar Markovic has rejected suggestions his last-minute deadline day move to Anderlecht fell through because of money.
The Serbia international, who has not played for the Reds since May 2015, travelled to Belgium after a cut-price £2.9million fee was agreed for him to return the club at which he spent the second half of last season on loan.
However, despite a three-year contract being offered, the move collapsed and led to Anderlecht's manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck claiming it was the player's fault.
"Our president and sports director did everything to convince Markovic," he told Belgian media.
"They waited until Liverpool lowered the price. They almost did a crazy effort for the player, but it wasn't enough. It's his own fault that the deal fell through."
But 24-year-old Markovic, who has also had unremarkable loan spells at Fenerbahce, Sporting Lisbon, Hull and is out of contract next summer, hit back.
"Thank you for making such a great effort for trying to get me back in the club. However, money was not the issue !!!!! Good luck in the future @rscanderlecht," he wrote on Twitter.
Markovic has once again not been included in Liverpool's Premier League squad and has no chance of playing under manager Jurgen Klopp so faces another four months in the wilderness, with even playing for the under-23s unlikely, until the window reopens in January.
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Manchester United are into their 16th semi-final in European competition and their first ever in the Europa League. Marcus Rashford's extra-time strike was enough to see Jose Mourinho's men through despite a host of missed chances and a very impressive Anderlecht performance.
United finally have their breakthrough and after missing a series of big chances, Rashford is the man to shatter Anderlecht's resistance. Fellaini knocks a long ball from Blind down into the path of the 19-year-old, who jinks to his left with his first touch and finds the bottom corner with his second.
It's extra-time at Old Trafford - an outcome neither team looks like they wanted. United have created more than enough chances to settle this tie in regulation, with Rashford, Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Lingard all missing when it seemed easier to score. Anderlecht are out of substitutions and have appeared totally exhausted since the hour mark. Surely this match can only go one way from here?
Strong comeback from Anderlecht after going behind. Can they finish the job in the second half? ➡️… https://t.co/faJqdpNRvR
Jose Mourinho doesn't look best pleased as he trudges off towards the home dressing room at Old Trafford. Hanni's equaliser has shifted the momentum of this match and Anderlecht are playing with the kind of confidence that United showed in the early minutes. To make matters worse, Marcos Rojo's injury has deepened the home side's defensive concerns and replacement Daley Blind has looked shaky.
The match is all square and so is the tie. Anderlecht counter in numbers and after Tielemans' deflected shot crashes off Sergio Romero's crossbar, Sofiane Hanni capitalises on the penalty area scramble to find the bottom corner with a low shot.
Anderlecht have made a bright start with Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker looking particularly lively, but it's United who take the lead with their first attack. Paul Pogba plays a brilliant pass to set Marcus Rashford running through on the left flank and after his attempted cross into Zlatan Ibrahimovic is cleared back to him, he finds Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the edge of the penalty area and the Armenian slams in the opening goal.