Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Barcelona reach ‘verbal agreement’ for Man City star despite Guardiola offer; Arsenal also poised to strike

Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva of Manchester City

Barcelona remain confident that they will sign Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer this summer, according to reports.

Pep Guardiola has offered the midfielder a contract extension. But, it now seems he has no intention of remaining at the Etihad.

This will come as a blow for Man City. Gundogan has been in excellent form recently, so his impending departure will leave a void in the squad.

Indeed, the Germany international scored two stunning goals against Everton on Sunday. The 3-0 victory was a big one, putting the Cityzens in pole position to clinch another Premier League title.

Gundogan has now scored four goals and made one assist in his last two league games. Overall, he has scored nine and assisted seven in all competitions this season.

So, clearly, he is still a very important player for Man City. Hence why Guardiola has decided to offer him a contract extension.

In a recent interview, the manager said: “He doesn’t talk much but when he does everybody listens, this is the power of a leader.”

“He is so intelligent, so clever and can handle the pressure really well.”

READ MORE: Man City creative force grows ‘tired’ of life under Pep Guardiola and becomes ‘important’ target for one Euro giant

Barcelona reach ‘verbal agreement’ with Gundogan

However, despite Guardiola’s persistence in trying to tie Gundogan down to fresh terms, a move to Barcelona looks likely.

According to Spanish outlet Sportthe Catalans remain ‘absolutely confident’ that the midfielder will be playing for them next season.

They note that a ‘verbal agreement’ between Gundogan and Barcelona has been reached over the last few days. This, if true, means Gundogan will indeed sign for the Spanish club on a free transfer, barring any late twists.

Despite the agreement, nothing will be officially announced until the end of the season.

But, one club who could potentially try and scupper Barcelona’s plans at the eleventh hour is Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta is known to be a huge admirer of Gundogan’s after his time at the Etihad as Guardiola’s assistant. Now, he is reportedly plotting to bring the 32-year-old to the Emirates.

As noted by TEAMtalk, Arsenal have registered an interest in signing Gundogan this summer. But, Barcelona is still by far his most likely destination.

Barca manager Xavi will have limited funds to spend in the transfer market. So, bringing in top players like Gundogan on a free transfer is ideal for him.

As it stands, it seems Gundogan is destined to head to the Camp Nou this summer.

READ MORE: Arteta grinning after Arsenal handed huge boost in pursuit of Man City star; he is destined to leave