Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gündogan reveals how he snubbed the chance to move to Liverpool in 2016 because of the opportunity to work under Pep Guardiola at the Etihad.
Gündogan left Germany after an outstanding, albeit injury-plagued, five years at Borussia Dortmund where the 27-year-old worked closely under Jürgen Klopp - a manager who is now described as "like a father" to the German international.
The two enjoyed success in Dortmund before upping sticks and moving to the Premier League, winning one Bundesliga title, one DFB-Pokal and reaching the Champions League final.
Following his £24m move to Manchester almost two years ago, Gündogan has since claimed that he turned his nose up at the chance to reunite with his former manager so that he could work under Guardiola.
"I was very close to joining Barcelona, but in the end it didn’t work out. I am where I want to be and I am very happy," Gündogan told Sport Arena Plus (via the Metro). "Klopp wanted me [to go to Liverpool], but I decided to go with Guardiola because his philosophy is closer to my style of play.
"Klopp is like a father to me. Guardiola is a genius, a master. He is the best manager in the world."
Gundogan has been immense again today. Criminally underrated.— MGH (@OfficialMgh) March 4, 2018
Gündogan has already been able to rack up over 50 appearances for the Manchester City first-team, 36 of which have come this season.
The dynamic midfielder, who will be fighting for his place in Joachim Löw's World Cup squad this summer, has scored nine goals during his brief spell in Manchester and claimed the same number of assists.