Gary Neville courtesy Café Football, Old Trafford

In an exclusive interview for talkSPORT, Gary Neville has said that Manchester is the UK’s second city and that it is getting much better at attracting foreign players

In an interview that will be aired on Saturday 15 October, he told Guillem Balague: “Attracting [foreign players] to the north of England is a challenge. I think United can get over it because of the size and scale of the club but I think it’s getting more difficult for the clubs in the north east. London is a far more attractive location to foreign people than say, the north east.

“Manchester is definitely the second city because of the prominence of football, but I think generally the way in which it’s moved forward in development, hospitality, in tourism, music. There’s a wonderful music venue, and the BBC moving here. It’s little things. The Trafford Centre. London concepts and international concepts coming here. I think Manchester’s in a good position to keep people. It’s good that Aguero stays in Manchester for a period of time as well as Zabaleta and David Silva.

“I used to say Scandinavians no problem, they’ll come to Manchester and enjoy it. Someone from Spain, Italy, Argentina or Brazil was always a challenge. I think it’s getting better. They’re accepting that it’s more of an international audience.

“I know that there are a couple of prominent players living in Manchester city centre now. That has to be a positive. This city needs to get back to where people live in the city. I know there are people who live in the city but it’s quite small compared to where it should be. There’s no doubt people will move back into the city, just because of the way that lifestyle appeals to more people now. There are more open spaces, better restaurants, better retail than there were twenty-five years ago.”

talkSPORT’s exclusive interview with Gary Neville will be broadcast this Saturday (15 October) 8pm – 10pm

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