Ilkay Gundogan, the captain of Manchester City, departs the organisation after a treble-winning campaign to join LaLiga champions. Gundogan, a player for Germany, spent seven years at Etihad Stadium, and Pep Guardiola had expressed a desire to keep him in Manchester.
Ilkay Gundogan, the captain of Manchester City, departed the club to join Barcelona after his contract expired.
With trophies for the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League in less than a month, Gundogan leaves Manchester after the club’s most successful season.
Since moving from Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad Stadium in 2016, he has been there for seven years. Manager Pep Guardiola has openly expressed a desire to keep him there longer.
In advance of his contract expiring at the end of this week, Gundogan was in negotiations with City on a new agreement.
The 32-year-old was offered a one-year contract with a 12-month option, but this was a deal-breaker for him. As a result, he signed a two-year agreement with LaLiga winners Barcelona instead, which also included a 12-month option. His release clause is worth €400 million (£342 million).
“For me, it has been a total privilege and pleasure to be part of Manchester City for the last seven years,” Gundogan said on the Manchester City club website.
“Manchester has been my home and I have felt part of a very special family at City.
“I have been lucky to have experienced so many unforgettable moments in my time here and to have been captain for this extra special season has been the greatest experience of my career.
“First, I would like to thank Pep. To have been able to play under and learn from him for so long has been something I will never forget.
“I would also like to thank all my team-mates – past and present – who have all played such a special part in making my time here so amazing.
“Finally, I would like to thank the incredible City fans. They have supported me from the moment I arrived, and I owe them all so much for their support.
“This club made me realise all my dreams and I will forever be thankful for this opportunity.
“I will carry City always in my heart. Once a blue, always a blue.”