Manchester City have sent a third player on loan to sister club Girona as summer signing Yan Couto leaves for a taste of first team football.
The 18-year-old, who joined from Coritiba earlier this year for an initial £5.5m, was hoping to get a chance to impress Pep Guardiola in pre-season training with the first team. However, the global pandemic delayed his arrival in Manchester, and it seems that chance was lost.
City had beaten Barcelona to the signing of U17 World Champion Couto, with the influence of Pep Guardiola, Fernandinho and other first-team members important in assuring him he would be part of the first-team picture. His transfer fee will double if he makes five Premier League or Champions League appearances for the Blues.
Now, City have confirmed their new plan for Couto, for the 2020/21 season at least, as he joins Aro Muric and Pablo Moreno on loan at Girona in Spain’s second tier.
With City well-stocked at right-back, Couto always knew a loan was likely this season, despite his hopes of challenging the first team, and the move should give him valuable first team experience.
After signing for City, Couto told Globo Esporte: “Right at the beginning of negotiations with City, first hand, they wanted to loan me [out]. But it was not what I wanted and so I had a preference for Bayern and Barcelona, who would use me in the first team.
“When it was alright to go to Barça, I had already decided, at the last minute Pep saw my games, he really liked my style of play, what I did at the Worlds [Under-17 World Cup]. Then my representative at City, Cadu, asked why he was going to Barça… So he managed to get me to the first team at City and go to play with Pep, who had the opportunity to do the pre-season with Guardiola.
“I know that I am new, that they have great selection players in the squad, I know that I have to be patient, that I have to evolve, adapt in Europe, but I think that in a short time I may be playing, entering games, playing in Cups.”