Manchester City can confirm that Gelson Fernandes has joined French side St Etienne for an undisclosed fee.
The Swiss midfielder moved to City from FC Sion in July 2007, and made his debut in the Carling Cup win over Bristol City a month later.
Gelson made 59 appearances for City, scoring four times, but he was increasingly used as a substitute after Mark Hughes took over as Blues’ boss.
He now moves to the southern part of France to the side managed by former Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin. His command of several languages helped make Gelson a popular member of the squad, and he goes with the best wishes for the future of everyone connected to Manchester City.
Despite becoming a bit of a crowd target last season, I did think it was worth persevering with him as he did show potential during his early time at the club. However, looking at the personnel in midfield we now have and where we are aiming to be it is clear that there would be no real role for Gelson moving forward and a permanent departure is the best option.