Premier League • England

Ilkay Gundogan reveals reason for snubbing Arsenal in favour of Barcelona summer switch

Ilkay Gundogan Barcelona

Ilkay Gundogan snubbed the chance to join Arsenal this summer

Former Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has revealed why he snubbed a move to Arsenal in the summer transfer window.

The 32-year-old quit treble-winners Manchester City at the end of last season to join LaLiga champions Barcelona on a high-profile free transfer.

However, the Gunners actually offered Gundogan a two-year contract to move to north London instead, as they were one of a number of clubs chasing his signature.

But the Germany international has now revealed that he turned down interest from other clubs as it was his ‘childhood dream’ to sign for Barcelona.

When asked if he would have remained at The Etihad if City had offered him more than a one-year deal, Gundogan told BILD: “I’m honest. And many people don’t know this: In the end, it wasn’t about a year or two.

“There was no problem with the running time. City waited a relatively long time until the talks really intensified.

“If this had happened a little earlier, the situation would have been different. So in the end it was the perfect ending, it couldn’t have come at a better time. It was also my childhood dream to play for FC Barcelona.”

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Gundogan still following City

Gundogan has so far started all four of Barca’s LaLiga matches, laying on two assists. However, he admits that he is still watching on to see how City are doing.

He added: “So far I’ve watched almost every game of my former club on TV, yes.

“I was in Manchester again before the start of the season and had a farewell party with Riyad Mahrez, which all the players also came to. That was a very nice goodbye. And contact with ex-colleagues and coaches will certainly continue.”

City are back in action on September 16 when they host West Ham in the Premier League.

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