Marc-Andre ter Stegen has suggested he came close to leaving Barcelona in the close-season.
The 24-year-old hinted he was on the verge of an exit from Camp Nou, before Claudio Bravo departed for Manchester City.
Ter Stegen joined Barca from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2014, when fellow shot-stopper Bravo also signed from Real Sociedad.
However, the German was initially limited to playing in the Copa del Rey and Champions League, with coach Luis Enrique using Bravo as his first choice in LaLiga.
Following the Chile international’s switch to join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, Ter Stegen has since been the undisputed number one at Barca – although he admits he also considered leaving the Spanish champions.
“It was tough because everyone wanted to play in every game. In the end, things have changed and we are both well,” said Ter Stegen, who was also linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium, in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.
“He [Bravo] plays in Manchester and I play here at Barca. There had to be a change because it was not easy to maintain that situation.
“I imagine Guardiola wanted a goalkeeper who can play with his feet, everyone knows him as a person and a footballer and this is his idea of how to play.
“It was clear that if the situation did not change I would have to find a solution, but the club told me that my time had come and that everyone supported me, so I did not hesitate to stay here.”
Ter Stegen feels his development has taken a rapid upward swing due to the increased opportunities afforded to him this season.
He added: “I’ve learned a lot this season. Playing in LaLiga as well makes you learn new things that are different to when you play in the Champions League.
“There are also many more games, so you have more rhythm and you keep improving.
“That was the situation I was looking for when I arrived, and now I can say that it’s so.”
Asked if he could be the Barca goalkeeper for the next 10 years, Ter Stegen responded: “Yes, why not?”
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