Fernandinho has confirmed he will leave Manchester City this summer when his contract expires, much to the surprise of Pep Guardiola.
The Brazilian’s future has been the source of much speculation this season, with Fernandinho previously not drawn on whether he would extend his deal beyond the summer.
However, speaking to the media ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, the 35-year-old revealed he will end his nine-year stint in Manchester at the end of 2021/22.
“I don't think so,” Fernandino said, when asked whether he will stay with City next season.
The 35-year-old went on to explain his decision was based on his lack of playing time this season. “Yes, I want to play. I will go back to Brazil [next season]. I decided with my family, which is the most important thing for me.”
However, the news that City’s club captain will soon be departing shocked Guardiola. He was next into the press conference after Fernandinho and claimed he was unaware the midfielder had made up his mind to leave.
“I didn’t know it,” the Catalan responded when asked about Fernandinho’s decision. “We will see what will happen at the end of the season. We don’t know. Fernandinho, I said many times, is very important for me. We will see what happens. I will talk to him.
“I said at the end of the season we will talk. Maybe it is a family decision, maybe he wants more minutes. I don’t know, I will speak to him of course. This so of situation, at the end of the season we will talk
“Maybe Txiki [Begiristain] knows it and didn’t tell me, or maybe and agent knows it and didn’t tell me. I don’t know, it is a surprise for me. I will say to him: ‘what happened, are you leaving?’. But I know his intentions and another player would do it for his benefit. Knowing Fern, he will not.
“I want the happiness of my players and absolutely. I want the players to be happy,” the City boss continued. “We are going to play tomorrow for him and give him the best farewell moment, reaching again the semi-finals of the Champions League and try to go through again.
“I understand the players want to play, it is completely understandable. Not just because he is 35/36, even for a player who is 22/23 and has a contract and they want to play. Look what happened with Ferran Torres, he wanted to play more. He talked with the club and went.
“I don’t want anyone not satisfied. I understand the family issues with a wife and kids, go back to Brazil, with the father and mother there. I am pretty sure the club is going to help him do what he wants.”
Fernandinho later took to social media to clarify the situation. He tweeted: “I was 100% honest and spontaneous in answering that question at today's press conference. But anyone who knows me also knows that my greatest honesty is with Man City and my duties as team captain.
“My focus is 100% on winning all the titles we are playing for and I will only talk about my future at the end of the season. Let’s keep pushing!”