German midfielder joins Barcelona on a free transfer after seven seasons at The Etihad
Ilkay Gundogan has left Manchester City after seven seasons at The Etihad, the club confirmed today.
The German midfielder was Pep Guardiola's first signing, joining the club for £21m from Borussia Dortmund in 2016.
Gundogan went on to make 304 appearances for the Blues, scoring 60 goals, and had the honour of captaining the club to a historic treble in his final season.
“For me it has been a total privilege and pleasure to be part of Manchester City for the last seven years,” Gundogan told mancity.com.
“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.”
Txiki Begiristain, the club's Director of Football,paid tribute to Gundogan:
“Ilkay has been a wonderful servant for Manchester City, and he leaves our club on a very special high having captained us to a historic Treble,” said Begiristain.
“He has played a huge part in the successes we have enjoyed in recent seasons and Ilkay’s intelligence, leadership and commitment to the Club - both on and off the field - has been an inspiration to everyone.
“Ilkay has truly cemented his place in the history of Manchester City and we all wish him well in the next chapter of his career.
“And he leaves us knowing that he will always be welcomed at this football club.”