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14th May 2018

Manchester City fans express disappointment as promising youngster leaves

City fans are hoping there's a buy-back clause

Simon Lloyd

Manchester City have confirmed Pablo Maffeo is to leave the club at the end of the season.

The 20-year-old full-back had spent the current campaign on loan in his native Spain with Girona, who were able to preserve their place in La Liga having won promotion last season to the Spanish top flight last year.

A tweet sent from the club’s official Twitter account confirmed on Monday morning that Maffeo would not be returning to the Etihad, signing a permanent deal with Bundesliga side, Stuttgart.

Maffeo had joined City from Espanyol in 2013, progressing through the youth ranks to make his first team debut under Pep Guardiola last season – the Champions League qualifier with Steaua Bucharest. He also appeared in City’s League Cup 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, turning in an impressive showing despite the result.

He initially joined Girona midway through last season, going on to make 47 appearances for them.

News of a permanent move away from City has come as a surprise to many of the club’s supporters, many of which replying to the club’s tweet by asking if a buy-back clause had been entered into his contract at Stuttgart.

Maffeo is not the first promising City youngster to leave the club for Germany lately. Jadon Sancho, a member of England’s U-17’s World Cup-winning squad left for Borussia Dortmund last year and recently became the club’s first English goalscorer.

Stuttgart have finished the Bundesliga season seventh, two points short of a place in next season’s Europa League. They finished their league campaign strongly, winning their final four games – including a convincing 4-1 final day victory over champions Bayern Munich.

City signed off the Premier League season with a late Gabriel Jesus stoppage time winner at Southampton. The 1-0 victory on the south coast was enough for the newly crowned champions to reach 100 points, ending the campaign 19 clear.