Man City are preparing for a Champions League quarterfinals second leg clash with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, but they were hit with some shocking news on Tuesday as longtime midfielder Fernandinho announced he will not renew his contract at the Etihad and will instead return to Brazil in the coming months.
That was a massive surprise to Man City boss Pep Guardiola, who didn’t know a thing about it until reporters asked him about the matter. Via ESPN:
“Oh,” Guardiola said after being told about Fernandinho’s decision. “I didn’t know it. You gave me the news. I didn’t know it.
“He’s so important for me, but I will talk to him. Maybe [director of football] Txiki [Begiristain] knows it and didn’t tell me. It’s a surprise for me — I didn’t know it.
“We are going to play tomorrow for him. We are going to try to play tomorrow for him and give him the best farewell moment, reaching again the semifinals of the Champions League then after try to go through again.”
Fernandinho has been at Man City since 2013 after making the switch from Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk. He’s gone on to make 258 Premier League appearances for the Citizens, but the Brazilian is clearly not happy with his current role. He’s only featured 13 times in league action this term.
The 36-year-old had this to say when asked about the possibility of putting pen to paper on a new deal at Man City:
“I don’t think so. I want to play. I will go back to Brazil. I decided with my family, which is the most important thing for me.”
This is truly the end of an era, but it could be the best move for both parties.