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Manchester City

Guardiola shocked after Fernandinho reveals desire to leave Man City and vows the club will try to make him stay

15:08 BST 12/04/2022
The Blues boss claims to have been left in the dark when it comes to decisions being made on the future of a veteran Brazilian midfielder

Pep Guardiola was as surprised as anybody to learn that long-serving Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho intends to return to his native Brazil at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

The 36-year-old, who remains club captain at the Etihad Stadium, has been on the books of the reigning Premier League champions since 2013.

He has taken in 373 appearances, while winning 12 trophies, but has slipped down the pecking order this season and plans to head back to his roots once reaching free agency in the summer – with GOAL learning that Athletico Paranaense are planning on putting an offer on the table.

What has been said?

Fernandinho told reporters when quizzed on his future intentions ahead of a Champions League quarter-final second leg encounter with Atletico Madrid: “I want to play regularly. I will go back to Brazil. I decided with my family, which is the most important for me."

What did Guardiola have to say?

While Fernandinho is convinced that he is making the right decision, he is seemingly yet to inform everybody around him at Man City about what is going on.

Even boss Guardiola claimed to have been left in the dark - asked for his reaction to Fernandinho’s decision, Guardiola said: “Oh. I didn't know. You give me the news. I didn't hear it. We will see what happens. I don't know what will happen. He is so important. I'll ask him.

“At the end of the season we talk, maybe it's because of his family. I would love it [if he stayed]. We will talk.

“The role he plays this season, I like the people who behave behind the scenes. I know what he has done, behind me, he handles many of our players and stars for the benefit of the team.

“I praise him and he was here when I arrive. Raheem [Sterling], Kevin [De Bruyne], John [Stones], a few players. We know him well, from day one to now always here.

“An incredible player for Man City. There are things nobody knows but I know exactly.”

Fernandinho backtracks?

If Fernandinho is to depart this summer, then City will hope to send him off with more medals added to his collection as they continue to chase down Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League honours in 2022.

However, he may not be leaving just yet, as the veteran indicated he is still totally committed to Man City and is still open to talks with the club when the season ends.

He wrote on social media after the press conference: "I was 100 per cent honest and spontaneous in answering that question, but anyone who knows me also knows that my greatest honesty is with Man City and my duties as team captain.

"My focus is on winning all the titles we are playing for and I will only talk about my future at the end of the season. Let’s keep pushing!"

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