Manchester City blocked Arsenal from signing Ilkay Gundogan this summer due to their new transfer rule, it's been claimed.
The City Treble-winning captain's availability as a free agent at the start of the transfer window sparked interest from the red side of north London before Mikel Arteta pursued Kai Havertz instead.
Gundogan ending up joining Barcelona which according to Football Insider, is because Etihad chiefs no longer want to sell players to their Premier League counterparts.
The departures of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko the year before went a fair way to strengthening Arsenal as they challenged City for the title – and Pep Guardiola didn't want to repeat that mistake.
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The Gunners also expressed an interest in Aymeric Laporte, who joined Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr, and Joao Cancelo, who joined Gundogan at Barca on loan on Deadline Day, later in the window and were similarly knocked back.
While City couldn't necessarily control Gundogan's future given his contract was up, he already preferred to head to La Liga as it was his dream move.
Jamie Carragher predicted this exact situation last season on The Overlap, saying: "Pep and Manchester City will never sell a player to Arsenal ever again.
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“The reason why Oleksandr Zinchenko was sold to Arsenal is because of Pep’s mate [Arteta] – and he didn’t feel Arsenal were a threat.”
In an interview in his home country with German outlet Bild released this week, Gundogan, 32, denied claims he didn't stay at City because they only offered him a year's extension
"I’m honest, and many people don’t know this, in the end, it wasn’t about a year or two," he said, explaining: "There was no problem with the running time.
"City waited a relatively long time until the talks really intensified. If this had happened a little earlier, the situation would have been different.
"So in the end it was the perfect ending, it couldn’t have come at a better time. It was also my childhood dream to play for FC Barcelona."
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