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Pep Guardiola stunned with Fernandinho’s decision to leave Manchester City

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The City defender announced earlier today he would be leaving the Premier League champions at the end of the current season.

Pep Guardiola admitted he was stunned following Fernandinho’s announcement that the Manchester City captain will leave at the end of the season.

The Brazilian has been at City since 2013 and signed a one-year contract extension last year. But when asked what his future plans were, the defender said: “I want to play regularly. I will go back to Brazil. I decided with my family, which is the most important for me.”

But when asked about his captain’s decision, Guardiola admitted he had no inclination the 36-year-old had plans of leaving the club, but insisted the team will do everything they can to give their captain a fitting send-off.

“Oh,” Guardiola said after being told about Fernandinho’s decision. “I didn’t know it. You gave me the news. I didn’t know it.

“He’s so important for me, but I will talk to him. Maybe [director of football] Txiki [Begiristain] knows it and didn’t tell me. It’s a surprise for me — I didn’t know it.

“We are going to play tomorrow for him. We are going to try to play tomorrow for him and give him the best farewell moment, reaching again the semifinals of the Champions League then after try to go through again.”

City lead Atletico 1-0 from the first leg after Kevin de Bruyne’s goal at the Etihad, but Guardiola is expecting a tough fight from Diego Simeone’s men in the reverse fixture.

“We have the intention to win the game,” Guardiola added. “I think it will be slightly different from the first leg because they play at home and at home they create momentums, real ones.

“There will be moments when they are so aggressive higher and create problems. We have to adapt and defend in those moments.”