Pep Guardiola has revealed his surprise after Fernandinho confirmed he will leave Manchester City at the end of the season.
The club captain has had a peripheral role for the Premier League champions this season and has revealed his intention to leave the Etihad at the end of the season, with the 36-year-old considering a return to Brazil when his contract expires.
Fernandinho has made just six league starts this season and said a lack of playing time and family reasons were behind his decision to end a glittering nine-year career with the club this summer.
“I want to play regularly. I will go back to Brazil. I decided with my family, which is the most important for me,” he said at a pre-match press conference ahead of City’s clash with Atletico Madrid.
Guardiola, however, was surprised by Fernandinho’s public admission of his plans to leave but praised the professionalism of the midfielder behind the scenes this season.
“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,” Guardiola told the assembled press.
“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, Kevin, John, 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.
Guardiola said he was hopeful City can given Fernandinho ‘the best farewell moment’ with a win over Atletico tomorrow evening and says he does not want to keep any player who is ‘unsatisfied’ at the club.
“Absolutely, I said many times, I want him to be happy. We play tomorrow for him. Give him the best farewell moment reaching the semi-finals, after try to go through. I understand, play with happiness, if he wants to play it’s understandable.
“If a player wants to leave I understand completely, look at Ferran Torres. I don’t want anyone unsatisfied. For his age, for his family in Brazil. The club will help him.”
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