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Pep Guardiola phone call leads to Manchester City defender rejecting Barcelona transfer offer



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Manchester City defender Yan Couto rejected the opportunity to sign for Barcelona after a phone call with Pep Guardiola, the player has revealed.

The 21-year-old, who is currently on loan at La Liga side Girona, moved to Manchester City on a five-year deal in 2020 from Serie A side Coritiba FC for an initial £5.5 million.

Couto has played an important role in Girona’s shock La Liga title pursuit, starting 16 matches and being directly involved in seven goals for the Catalonian side.

The Brazilian is contracted at the Etihad Stadium until 2025, but was subject to transfer interest from both Barcelona and Bayern Munich before agreeing to move to the City Football Academy.

Couto has never made a first-team appearance for Manchester City, but was an unused substitute in the 2020 FA Community Shield loss to Leicester City at Wembley Stadium.

The dynamic player, who predominately plays at right-back but can play in more advanced areas across the flank, has revealed that a phone call with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola lead to him rejecting an offer from Barcelona in favour of a switch to North West England.

“I was sure I was going to Barca, but Pep Guardiola called me, and things changed,” the 21-year-old told Mundo Deportivo, as relayed by Sport Witness.

“When I was champion with the Brazilian National Team, I visited Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Barca.”

Girona currently top the La Liga table, two points ahead of Real Madrid in second place and nine points clear of both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in third and fourth.

The Catalan side have won 14 matches so far this season, and have upcoming fixtures against Real Betis and Atletico Madrid.