MANCHESTER CITY star John Stones was so desperate to become captain last season that he even came up with a hilarious slogan.
That is according to ex-City skipper Ilkay Gundogan, who ultimately beat Stones to the armband and lifted the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League trophy.
John Stones tried to become Manchester City captain last seasonCredit: AFP
The Citizens held a team vote last term with the main candidates being the now Barcelona star and Kevin De Bruyne as the two most experienced players in Pep Guardiola’s roster.
But Stones threw his name in the hat and went all in with a rather creative campaign to win over his team-mates.
The England international even distributed posters with a comical election slogan which read: “John Stones – Man of the People”.
Gundogan told Bild: “John promoted himself, yes, but more for fun.
“When I was elected captain, I was relatively sure that I would be in the top three.
“It was about whether it would be Kev [De Bruyne] or me. I think it was relatively close.”
Gundogan left City as a free agent after their stunning Treble-winning campaign came to a close.
The Germany international revealed the Manchester giants left it too late with their contract offer in the summer.
The 32-year-old eventually turned down a new deal at the Etihad in favour of a move to Barcelona.
And the German has admitted he could have been persuaded to extend his seven-year stay if they had come to him earlier.
Gundogan said: “I’m honest and many people don’t know this but in the end, it wasn’t about a year or two.
“City waited a relatively long time until the talks really intensified. If this had happened a little earlier, the situation would have been different.
Stones put together a hilarious campaign with a funny slogan but lost to Ilkay GundoganCredit: Getty
“I don’t want to go into the minute details, but it was quite late in the season.”
Gundogan said by the time City raised the prospect of him staying, he needed to focus fully on the challenges ahead.
He added: “When it comes to a Champions League quarter-final or semi-final, players want to concentrate purely on sport. I didn’t know what would happen next. I couldn’t plan anything.
“Pep Guardiola’s appreciation was always there, but officially there was no movement from the club for a long time.
“So in the end it was the perfect ending at City, it couldn’t have come at a better time. It was also my childhood dream to play for FC Barcelona.”
Guardiola did everything to persuade his skipper to stay at the Etihad – and Gundogan said it was a tough phone call to make.
He said: “Unfortunately, I didn’t say goodbye in person because I only made the decision after the Champions League final – two days before the Germany game against Colombia.
“So it was probably the hardest phone call I’ve ever had in my life. The conversation was emotional, but Pep was also happy for me – joining his boyhood club Barcelona.”