Brazil youth international Yan Couto has revealed a personal intervention from Pep Guardiola persuaded him to join Manchester City instead of Barcelona.
In March, City confirmed the highly-rated teenage right-back would arrive at the club from Coritiba this summer after he had been heavily linked with a move to the Camp Nou.
As outlined by Diario Sport, the player penned a five-year contract in England – from this summer –with the deal being worth an upfront €6m plus a further €6m in instalments.
In January, Diario Sport drew on reports from Globoesporte and Yahoo Sports that City had doubled an offer from the Blaugrana for the defender.
However, Couto has now said it was not just the transfer fee that proved decisive.
“I had a good conversation with Barcelona and I thought I would go there,” Couto told ESPN Brasil. “But then Manchester City appeared and showed me how things would be there.
“At first, they wanted to loan me out straight away, but then I spoke with Guardiola. He told me that I would do preseason with the first team and from there it would depend on me.
“Guardiola was very attentive and said that he was really happy I was coming to the club. It was the best decision for me.”
The teenager starred for Brazil in the recent Under-17 World Cup where he helped his nation win the tournament, despite receiving a straight red card in his first match.
The player is not the tallest – standing at just 1.68m – but is said to be lighting quick and to possess a lot of energy, both very technical and also skilled in attack.
Bayer Leverkusen and Arsenal were said to be other clubs who have been interested in a deal for the teenage full-back.
The 17-year-old, however, has not yet made his debut for the Coritiba first-team but he is said to be one of the most highly rated players in his nation and was due to be out of contract in a year’s time – but he became Coritibia’s record highest sale.