Manchester City’s new signing Stefan Ortega has revealed he was surprised to learn of the club’s interest earlier this summer.
The German’s arrival at the Etihad was confirmed on Friday morning, although it remains subject to international clearance.
The goalkeeper has spent his whole career to date in Germany, representing Arminia Bielefeld and 1860 Munich, but said City’s ‘perfect’ offer encouraged him to join the Premier League champions.
However, Ortega admitted the move came completely out of the blue and took him by surprise.
Asked in an interview with the club’s media department if he was shocked to hear of City’s interest, Ortega responded: “A bit, yes, because at this time I went to Palma with my family and in the evening my agent called me and said: ‘I called Txiki [Begiristain, City’s Director of Football] and they are interested in bringing you to Manchester’.
“I was like, ‘ok, really, is it true?’ But after I needed a lot of time to think about it because it is a huge step. My old club is not that big like Manchester City.
“It was the opportunity to join one of the biggest clubs around the world,” he added. “Also to get in a new country and a new culture, and the best league in the world. The package, it was perfect for me.”
The 29-year-old also said Pep Guardiola’s unique demands from his goalkeepers played a big factor in him moving to the Etihad, with the City boss requiring his men between the sticks to be as effective with their feet as their hands.
“It is one of the reasons why I wanted to join this club,” Ortega explained. “I know the style of Pep and I love to see how Man City play football. I think I have the quality to also show this performance.
“I think I am a modern goalkeeper, good with my feet and a good shot stopper. But I think I am not at my highest level now, so I hope Xabi [Mancisidor, City’s goalkeeping coach] can help me a lot.”
Ortega’s arrival is expected to result in Zack Steffen joining Middlesbrough on loan for the 2022/23 campaign.