He told the Mirror: "I am very sad to see Elano go because he was a team mate and has been a friend for many years.
"I understand the decision but I always believed that he would be part of this project. I never believed the rumours and I will miss our dinners and meetings.
"I wish and believe that Elano will be king at his new club. City have made some great signings and it has been made complicated for some players.
"But I have spoken many times with the coach and praised Elano but it was the decision of the club and impossible to change."