In a major development, Javi Miguel of AS is reporting that Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has already spoken to Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan to discuss a potential free transfer to Camp Nou in the summer.
The 32-year-old is out of contract with the Premier League champions this summer and Barcelona have identified him as one of their primary transfer targets to bolster the midfield department.
As per the report, Xavi has already held talks with Gundogan about a possible move to Barcelona in the summer, assuring the German international that the club will do everything possible to resolve the Financial Fair Play issues and fit him onto the wage bill.
The report further adds that sources close to the negotiations indicate that the initial sensations from the talks have been very positive and that the midfielder would be open to joining Barça in the summer, while also accepting reduced wages.
This certainly comes as a major boost for Barcelona in their pursuit of Gundogan. The report adds that the plan is to offer him a three-year contract so that he can bring an end to his career at Camp Nou eventually.
The coaching staff consider the former Borussia Dortmund star’s signing as critical as they believe it will shore up the midfield department which tends to suffer when one of the first-choice players get injured, as has been the case recently with Pedri sidelined.
The fact that Gundogan would arrive as a free agent is said to appeal to Barcelona a great deal. Furthermore, signing him would let the manager rotate his midfielders more freely and rest them adequately.
On top of that, the German international’s arrival would also allow Xavi to keep continuing with his new tactic of deploying four central midfielders without any drop in quality if any player is missing.
The experience that he would bring to the table is also seen as a major positive as he can guide youngsters like Pedri, Gavi, and Pablo Torre.
But Barcelona do have some concerns regarding Gundogan’s injury record, although they would be willing to take a risk on him albeit after conducting thorough and complete medical tests.
The report adds that the current La Liga leaders will not look to sign another midfielder if they secure Gundogan’s services and captain Sergio Busquets renews his contract. If the latter does not sign a new deal, they will look for a pivot midfielder in the market as the club believes loanee Nico Gonzalez is not cut out for the role.