Ilkay Gundogan Reveals Reasons Behind Manchester City Departure for Barcelona

Ilkay Gundogan, a former Manchester City midfielder, recently shed light on his departure from the club, citing concerns about the timing of their contract offer. The German international, who played a pivotal role in leading City to a historic Treble last season, ultimately decided to join Barcelona.

Gundogan disclosed that City extended their contract proposal towards the end of the season, but it arrived too late to dissuade him from pursuing his dream move to Barcelona. Speaking to BILD, he explained, “City waited a relatively long time until the talks really intensified. I don’t want to delve into the minute details, but it was quite late in the season. Pep’s appreciation was always there, but officially there was no movement from the club for a long time. If this had happened a little earlier, the situation would have been different.”

Additionally, Gundogan shared insights into the emotional phone call he had with Pep Guardiola to inform him of his decision to leave City. He expressed, “That was probably the hardest phone call I’ve ever had in my life. The conversation was emotional, but Pep was also happy for me. I switched to the club that was close to his heart and his childhood, so to speak—and as a fan, he was very pleased about that. 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.”

Since joining Barcelona, Gundogan has already contributed with two assists in four LaLiga matches this season. He remains a key player for his national team and is set to participate in his 67th international match when Germany faces Japan in a friendly ahead of Euro 2024.