Ilkay Gundogan signs for Manchester City in 2016
Ilkay Gundogan has now reportedly had a ‘change of heart’ on his Manchester City future just months after he was edging closer to the exit door. Pep Guardiola’s captain fantastic is yet to commit to a new contract with the Premier League champions currently offering the German international a short-term extension.
Barcelona are said to be proposing a two-year contract offer that would see Gundogan join the Catalan giants on a free transfer at the start of July.
However, Arsenal have since entered the running and they would be keen to add Gundogan to their squad where he could be reunited with Mikel Arteta.
Nonetheless, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio is now reporting that Gundogan’s mindset has changed in the past few months and that he is now strongly considering staying put.
The Sky Italia reporter told Wettfreunde: “Ilkay Gundogan and Man City are currently in talks and both Pep Guardiola and the club love him.
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“A few months ago, he thought about leaving but his heart wants to stay. It is all still open but Man City are keen to keep him.”
Gundogan has been instrumental for City in the business end of the season as he netted back-to-back braces against Leeds and Everton for the champions.
His future is expected to remain unresolved until after the conclusion of City’s season as they gear up for the FA Cup and Champions League finals.
City also have two Premier League fixtures left to fulfil as they travel to Brighton and then Brentford – on the final day of the season – in close succession.
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Guardiola remained coy on Gundogan’s future when quizzed for clarity earlier this week, the Spaniard said: “I cannot tell you anything because I don’t know anything, I’m sorry!”
That said, there is a sense Guardiola would have sent substitute Gundogan onto the field against Chelsea last Sunday to say his goodbyes if he was likely to depart.
The City boss had previously said of his skipper: “He’s one of the best players I ever trained in my career. The whole package. He’s top, top class.”
Gundogan has played 30 times in the Premier League this season, scoring eight goals and registering four assists.
That’s why it comes as no surprise that Arsenal would be interested in acquiring his services at the end of the season.
Not only would they be signing a top-level operator but they would be significantly weakening rivals City following their barnstorming season.
The German is seen as the ideal replacement for Granit Xhaka, who is seemingly bound for Bayer Leverkusen with a £13million transfer now well advanced.
City’s summer transfer plans will ultimately hinge on whether Gundogan stays put or moves onto pastures new.
The current priority will be strengthening Guardiola’s defence with Joao Cancelo set to leave permanently but midfield reinforcements will also be required if Gundogan and Kalvin Phillips depart.
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