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Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan opens up on Man City exit

Former Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has shed light on the reasons behind his departure from the Premier League champions to join Barcelona this summer. 

The German international, who enjoyed a remarkable seven-year tenure with Man City, recently spoke about his decision and the circumstances that led to his move.

Gundogan revealed he had heartfelt discussions with Man City manager Pep Guardiola following the Champions League final. 

He referred to this conversation as ‘the hardest phone call’ of his life. 

Despite the difficulty of the decision, Gundogan disclosed that Guardiola was supportive and understanding of his desire for a new challenge.

Gundogan also hinted that the timing of contract negotiations played a pivotal role in his choice to leave the club.

He says the club had waited too long to initiate discussions about a contract extension. 

Gundogan said (via Bild): “City waited a relatively long time until the talks really intensified. 

“If this had happened a little earlier, the situation would have been different. 

“So, in the end, it was the perfect ending. It couldn’t have come at a better time. It was also my childhood dream to play for Barcelona.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his contract, Gundogan acknowledged the appreciation from Guardiola and the club throughout his time at Man City. 

He emphasised that the treble-winning achievement last season was the crowning moment in his career.

Gundogan’s move to Barcelona marked the end of an era at Man City, leaving fans and teammates with fond memories of his contribution to the club’s success over the years. 

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