Yan Couto, who is currently at loan with second-tier side Girona in Spain, was featured in a recent interview with ESPN Brazil. He was bought by Manchester City in the summer on a €6m move from Cortiba, with several top European clubs after the defender following his performances for Brazil in the U-17 World Cup.
The Brazilian revealed his thought process behind the decision to choose Manchester City over the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, “Bayern had language difficulties and Manchester City had made a proposal for me to borrow and I didn’t like it very much. I was about to close with Barcelona, who said I would go to the main team. But City came up with another proposal that I would go to the top team and train with Guardiola. This was very important and remarkable. I was impressed enough. I think it was the best decision for me.”
Couto talked about his first meeting with the boss Pep Guardiola, and met several of the Brazilians at the club including the likes of Ederson, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus.
“I went to Manchester to sign the contract and I had a conversation there at the club. Guardiola welcomed me, and as I had already chosen City, he knew about the other clubs, he was very happy for me to have chosen City. He said that I am a great promise and to work because soon I would be training with him and it was a great choice. He wished me all the best and said that my English had to be better than Gabriel Jesus’ when he arrived. He was beside us and it was very funny. It was a quick conversation after a training session.”
Couto further revealed he had developed a close friendship with 35-year-old Fernandinho, and let slip that the midfielder would be leaving the club after the expiry of his contract in the summer.
“Fernandinho, to tell you the truth, is a friend of mine, we always exchange messages on WhatsApp. So he’s a guy who’s an example. My whole family liked him very much. I will not be lucky enough to play with him, he will leave this year. But this reception in a new club was really good for me. So I think it’s very important to have players of this level, and you can see that he’s a great player for that, on and off the pitch he’s special.”
However, because of Covid-19 restrictions, the youngster was unable to travel to England in the preseason with City, and was instead loaned out to Spanish side Girona till the end of the season.
As of now, the 18-year-old is focused on his present team Girona and is hoping that they can move up to the first Spanish division at the end of this year.
“I want to make a very good sequence of games and move up the division with Girona. Next season we will see if I will still stay here or I will return to City. It will depend on my performance. I am very optimistic to make great games and come back to Manchester and help my club, which is City .”
There is a possibility that Couto might move to City in the winter transfer window, if one of Manchester City’s non-homegrown players leaves the club.
“I have a Portuguese passport and I do not enter into foreigners’ quota. If João Cancelo is sold [by City] I have the chance to return to Manchester in January. But it’s something that you cannot know and it’s not up to me. But if they need me, I can come back easily.”