Pep Guardiola has claimed he was surprised by Manchester City captain Fernandinho’s decision to quit the club at the end of the season.
The 36-year-old Brazilian has been with the club since signing from Ukrainian Premier League side Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013 and has won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and six Cups in 373 total matches for the club.
He is a key component of City’s dominance of English football and a fan favorite at the Etihad.
However, the Brazilian is ready to call up the time in his nine-year career with City to return to his native Brazil in order to have regular playing time ahead of the World Cup and his eventual retirement from the game.
Speaking alongside Guardiola at the press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League second leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, Fernandinho was asked by BBC Sport Journalists if he continues in the union next season.
“I will go back to Brazil. I decided with my family, which is the most important for me, “he replied.
Following the pressure, the Brazil international posted a post on Twitter telling his fans that he is serious about leaving City at the end of the season.
“I was 100% honest and spontaneous in answering that question at today’s press conference,” Fernandinho wrote. “But anyone who knows me also knows that my biggest honesty is with Manchester City and my duties as captain.
“My focus is 100% on winning all the titles we play for and I will only talk about my future at the end of the season. Let’s keep pushing!”
Guardiola was asked at the press conference about Fernandinho’s departure and revealed that this was the first time he had heard of it as well.
Guardiola said: “I didn’t know that. We’ll see what happens at the end of the season. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Fernandinho, as I’ve said many times, is very important to me. We’ll see what happens but, anyway, I’ll talk to him.”
“Maybe it’s a family decision, or maybe he wants more minutes than he has this season, I don’t know. I’ll talk to him, of course, but that kind of situation… at the end of the season we’ll talk.”
Fernandinho has played just 23 games for City this season (six in the Premier League) after signing a one-year contract with the club last summer to keep him at the federation this season.
City are currently top of the Premier League table and could defend their title from last season, giving the Brazilian a perfect farewell.
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