The future of Ilkay Gundogan has become a hot topic this year, with the midfielder’s contract at Etihad expiring at the end of the season.
Gundogan has been linked with a move to Barcelona for a while now. The Spanish giants want to secure the services of the German international in order to add more fuel to the midfield department, especially after Sergio Busquets’ decision to leave the club.
Gundogan himself has reportedly given the green light to become a Barcelona player next season. But Fabrizio Romano has contradicted those claims, suggesting that the midfielder is yet to make a decision on his future.
With a prolonged stay at Etihad a possibility, Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has openly admitted his desire to keep hold of Gundogan beyond the summer.
“Nobody knows what is going to happen, maybe he stays. Hopefully,” he said (h/t Sam Lee) in a recent press conference.
Guardiola’s comments, though, suggest that the future of Gundogan will depend on the player himself. For a while now, the midfielder has been reportedly looking for a fresh challenge elsewhere, especially after years of success in England.
Barcelona, to that end, have emerged as the ideal destination. With the club reeling from Busquets’ decision to leave Camp Nou at the end of the season, there is a vacuum in the midfield department that could open up for Gundogan.
The German international, who is capable of playing as a number six, could fit in nicely alongside Pedri and Frenkie de Jong. His experience and leadership could go a long way in mobilising an otherwise young Barcelona setup, led by Xavi Hernandez.
Gundogan is not the only midfielder Barça are targeting this summer. The club have been also linked with a move for various other stars, including Martin Zubimendi, Ruben Neves and Sofyan Amrabat, who could be available for a paltry €5-6 million this coming summer.