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“Start at the bottom” – Manchester City defender admits rejecting Bayern Munich and Barcelona in favour of Etihad project



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Manchester City defender and Brazil international Yan Couto has looked back on rejecting opportunities to join European powerhouses in favour of the Etihad Stadium.

Couto has endured a progressive spell with Manchester City thus far, with club officials at the Etihad Stadium entrusting a number of clubs with the successive development of the Brazilian since his exit from South American football.

Since joining Manchester City in 2020, the former Brazil under-17 international has gone on to complete four successive loan spells, whilst spending three seasons with Girona and contributing heavily to their rapid rise in Spanish football.

The only other club to have taken on the skillset of Yan Couto was Portuguese side SC Braga, whilst the most recent outing with Girona resulted in Michel’s side qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.

Speaking during a new interview with Globo Esporte, as translated and relayed by Sport Witness, Manchester City’s Yan Couto has looked over the summer he turned down approaches from both Bayern Munich and Barcelona in favour of the Etihad Stadium.

“When I was signed, I had several meetings with City. They explained the project, that I would be loaned out. There were clubs like Barcelona and Bayern, but I accepted because I wasn’t a member of the group, but of Manchester City itself,” Couto explained.

Discussing the move to the City Football Group, Couto continued, “There are two methods: either you go to the club or to the group. Often, youngsters are bought to play in alternative leagues in the method of buying cheap and selling high. A business deal.

“It wasn’t what I wanted for my career, but I accepted because I knew I’d get minutes. Start at the bottom, but play. I gained a lot of experience, every season I played 2,500 minutes, 3,000. I’ve improved a lot.

“Our relationship is very good. Every two or three months, there’s always someone at the club.”

It remains to be seen what Yan Couto, his representatives, and Manchester City decide is best for the forthcoming season, with a spot in Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad looking increasingly unlikely given the performances and trust put in Kyle Walker.

Recent reports have indicated that Manchester City would be open to a permanent sale for Yan Couto, whilst it is widely understood that the Premier League champions would be eyeing a transfer fee close to £40 million for the player.

The most recently-linked club to the rising Brazilian has been Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who were said to be looking for a potential back-up to Pedro Porro in Ange Postecoglou’s North London squad.