Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan has left the club to join Barcelona following the expiration of his contract.
Gundogan leaves Manchester on the back of the club’s greatest season, lifting the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League trophies within the space of a month.
He spent seven years at the Etihad Stadium since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2016, and manager Pep Guardiola had publicly hinted at his own desire to extend that stay further.
However, the length of the deal on offer for the 32-year-old – one year plus an option of a further 12 months – was a sticking point, and he has instead penned a two-year contract, also including a 12-month option, with LaLiga champions Barcelona. His release clause has been set at €400m (£342m).
Gundogan told the Manchester City club website: “For me, it has been a total privilege and pleasure to be part of Manchester City for the last seven years.
“Manchester has been my home and I have felt part of a very special family at City.
“I have been lucky to have experienced so many unforgettable moments in my time here and to have been captain for this extra special season has been the greatest experience of my career.
“First, I would like to thank Pep. To have been able to play under and learn from him for so long has been something I will never forget.
“I would also like to thank all my team-mates – past and present – who have all played such a special part in making my time here so amazing.
“Finally, I would like to thank the incredible City fans. They have supported me from the moment I arrived, and I owe them all so much for their support.
“This club made me realise all my dreams and I will forever be thankful for this opportunity.
“I will carry City always in my heart. Once a blue, always a blue.”