Speaking after Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Leeds United, manager Pep Guardiola claimed that he wants club captain and Barcelona target Ilkay Gundogan to continue at the Etihad beyond this season.
Gundogan is in the final phase of his contract with Manchester City which expires on June 30. Barcelona have taken a keen interest in the 32-year-old and wish to sign him as a free agent when his deal runs out.
Reports have suggested that the Blaugrana are even preparing a two-year contract offer for the German international and that the midfielder is even willing to take a pay cut to secure a move to Spotify Camp Nou in the summer.
It was previously reported that Manchester City had given up hope of renewing Gundogan as they believed that he was headed for Barcelona.
However, it seems like Guardiola is not prepared to throw in the towel just yet as he confirmed that he wants to keep working with Gundogan beyond this season. As quoted by Fabrizio Romano, the Manchester City boss said:
“The club knows what I think. I’d like to work with Gundo in the future. The club is involved and ofcourse knows my opinion. They are above me, we take the decision together, good and bad.”
Gundogan is seen as a critical transfer target at Barcelona. The 32-year-old would be available for free and can provide depth in both interior and pivot midfield positions. On top of that, his experience could be very helpful for young guns like Pedri and Gavi.
The 32-year-old has himself admitted that talks are ongoing with Barcelona, but is yet to make a decision on his future.
It now remains to be seen whether Guardiola and Man City convince him to remain at the club beyond 2022/23 or if he decides to pack his bags and move to Barcelona.