Manchester City are convinced that Ilkay Gundogan is set to move to Barcelona on a free transfer, and have already started thinking about a potential replacement in the form of Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic, according to SPORT.
The report states that Kovacic’s agents have traveled to London to negotiate his signing with City. Chelsea are ready to give him up for around €30 million.
Barcelona have been in talks with Gundogan for a while, and have reportedly tabled a two-year deal with him with an option to extend it further for another year. He has refused to sign a renewal with City, and will arrive on a Bosman move.
City refused to give him a two-year deal, with most English clubs continuing their policies of handing 30+ players just one-year extensions. Barcelona, meanwhile, are huge fans of the German midfielder, and are ready to hand him a two-year contract.
It was also reported that Barcelona will look to seek a departure for Franck Kessie in the summer if they are able to finalise the deal to sign Gundogan.
With the German in the squad, Barça will have an overly-packed midfield in their ranks, with Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Gavi, Kessie, Pablo Torre, and even Sergi Roberto fighting for spots, while Aleix Garrido is knocking on the first-team door as well.
Meanwhile, Kovacic, at 28, is bound to Chelsea till 2024. He has played 23 games this season, scoring one goal and assisting one. However, with the blues languishing in the bottom half of the table, they are expected to put a fair few players up for sale.