Manchester City full-back Pablo Maffeo has rejected interest from England and Spain to join join German side Stuttgart for an undisclosed fee.
Maffeo, 20, joined City in 2013 and made three first team appearances under Pep Guardiola but has spent the past two seasons on loan in La Liga with Girona, helping them to promotion in his first season.
The Spaniard signed a deal until 2023 that included a €10 million transfer fee with City getting 25 percent of any future sale.
He said that advice from Guardiola was behind his decision to move to the Bundesliga.
“Pep Guardiola spoke highly of Bundesliga and those in charge at Stuttgart went to great lengths to persuade me,” he said. “I watched tapes with their home games, and I was impressed by the atmosphere in the stadium.
“I want to contribute my share that the club can continue its positive development.”
Maffeo has impressed after returning to Girona this season in the top flight and won praise for his performance against Barcelona’s Lionel Messi earlier the season.
“There were a lot of enquiries for Pablo Maffeo from England and Spain, but he opted for Stuttgart instead. Pablo is a player with a big heart and a lot of force,” Stuttgart sporting director Michael Reschke said. “His got a great future ahead of him at full-back. I would like to thank Manchester City and in particular Txiki Begiristain and Pep Guardiola for the cooperative and professional partnership and support.”
Stuttgart have also boosted their ranks with the signing of four additional players aged 23 or under.
Left-back Borna Sosa, 20, joins from Dinamo Zagreb, defender Marc Oliver Kempf, 23, arrives from Freiburg, Poland under-21 midfielder David Kopazcz, 18, signs from Borussia Dortmund’s academy and 17-year-old winger Roberto Massimo from Arminia Bielefeld’s academy.
ESPN FC’s Germany correspondent Stephan Uersfeld contributed to this report.
Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.