Manchester City oversaw a major transfer decision during the recent transfer window largely thanks to a disagreement between two key figures, a report has detailed.
That disagreement concerned the future of Ilkay Gundogan, who brought an end to his illustrious career in the Premier League by joining reigning La Liga champions FC Barcelona on a free transfer at the end of the last campaign.
Gundogan closed out his Manchester City career off the back of a Treble success under Pep Guardiola, culminating in a UEFA Champions League triumph over Inter at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.
However, the 33-year-old could very well have stayed at Manchester City, if manager Pep Guardiola was able to convince the club’s hierarchy of his feeling towards the player, an article emerging from Spain has suggested.
That is according to a new report from El Pais, as translated and relayed by Sport Witness, who claim that Barcelona were able to ‘seduce’ Ilkay Gündogan into moving to the La Liga club as Pep Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain disagreed over what to do with their then-club captain.
The report claims that Manchester City’s director of football ‘was not willing’ to extend Ilkay Gündogan’s contract by an additional three years as the Germany international sought out long-term security in his top-level career.
As such, Begiristain is claimed to have seen a clash of opinions with manager Pep Guardiola – who wanted Gundogan to remain at the Etihad Stadium, with the player considered ‘key’ following such a successful campaign with the club.
Manchester City were forced into the transfer market on several occasions when it came to their central midfield position during the recent summer transfer window, once related to the departure of Gundogan.
Former Chelsea midfielder and Croatia international star Mateo Kovacic made the switch from Stamford Bridge to Manchester City in a deal understood to be worth an initial £25 million, and with the player viewed as the replacement for Gundogan.
City were not done there though, as they made a late and successful move for Wolves’ Matheus Nunes following the long-term injury to Kevin De Bruyne, as the Portuguese star made the switch to Pep Guardiola’s side having gone on strike to force through a deal.
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