Arsenal firmly in race to sign Ilkay Gundogan, but one condition could ruin transfer
Arsenal are just one of the clubs interested in Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, according to a report.
The Germany star has been tipped to leave The Etihad this summer. The 31-year-old has made 42 appearances this season, scoring eight goals and assisting six. But he has had to share his midfield starts alongside Bernardo Silva, Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne this term.
According to the Daily Mail, Gundogan wants to be a regular starter at this stage in his career. That is a wish that Pep Guardiola cannot guarantee and so City have given their blessing for the player to move on.
There has been no fall out between the parties and City are now open to the sale of the former Borussia Dortmund man.
Fabrizio Romano confirms there have been no talks over a City renewal. Instead the discussions have centred around his departure.
Gundogan does has one year remaining on his contract and so he will command a transfer fee.
He was spotted flying to Madrid recently, but that has been dismissed as a red herring.
Barcelona and a number of German clubs are keen, but so are Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta knows Gundogan well from his time as Guardiola’s assistant and he is hoping to add some knowhow to his midfield.
Mohamed Elneny’s contract will expire next month, while Granit Xhaka’s future is not assured. Roma tried to land the player last summer after Euro 2020.
Talks ongoing between Gündoğan agents and Manchester City board. No discussion about new deal – just about his future with serious chances to leave the club. 🔵 #MCFC
His trip to Madrid was not linked to his future. Barça, German clubs and Arsenal [depends on UCL] interested. pic.twitter.com/IQxH3XH1CH
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 17, 2022
It means Arteta is hunting for a midfield kingpin and the pair are understood to be on good terms.
Champions League football key for Gundogan
Gundogan was told what Arteta had said about in November.
“Maybe he doesn’t shine, but he allows others to shine,” said the Arsenal boss to L’Equipe.
Gundogan was clearly flattered and responded by saying: “I really like this quote, I often use it to describe my game. It’s important to have a clear idea of how you can help your teammates or not. I have never been selfish and never will be.”
However, the success of Arsenal’s approach will depend on where they finish the season.
Romano insists Gundogan wants to continue playing at the top level in the Champions League.
A top-four spot will earn Arsenal a place in the Champions League next season. That will give Arsenal a platform to lure Gundogan, however if Spurs win at Norwich on the final day the Gunners will be be beaten into fourth.
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