Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City contract offer on the table for key Guardiola man but Barcelona lure and Bundesliga return still in mix

Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan representing Manchester City

Manchester City remain hopeful that one of their top stars will commit to a new contract at The Etihad, despite continued links to Barcelona and the lure of a return to his native Germany.

Ilkay Gundogan has been at City since 2016, when he became Pep Guardiola’s first signing as City boss for a bargain £20million from Borussia Dortmund and has gone on to win multiple trophies in Manchester.

However, the 32-year Germany international’s contract runs out at the end of the season and there has been talk of him moving to Barcelona or heading back to his homeland.

At this stage, the offer of a new deal remains on the table but our transfer expert Graeme Bailey has provided an update on the player’s situation.

He told TEAMtalk: “Ilkay Gundogan’s situation has not changed too much in recent months. City are giving him the opportunity to stay and a contract is on offer to him.

“However, he is out of contract in the summer and I understand a move back home to Germany is something he is seriously considering.

“Barcelona have also shown an interest and a move to LaLiga could be an option he looks at and likes.

“The talks between City and Gundogan have always been amicable, no doubting that. He loves the club and they love him, but that is why they are not pressurising him in anyway, this will be his decision.”

The fact that things are being left up to the player to decide his future without that pressure coming from the club is a breath of fresh air in the current football world.

City still have eye on the future

Gundogan is still one of Guardiola’s most trusted generals when it comes to bigger games. Indeed, so far this season he has made 27 appearances in total, scoring twice.

Constant links to the likes of Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice suggest City do have one eye on the future. However, Gundogan rarely has a bad game and, despite his lack of goals this season, has always proved to be a threat from the middle of the park.

In total, his City career has produced 51 goals in 281 games, while Gundogan has won the Premier League four times, the FA Cup once and the League Cup another four times.

All that is missing with City is a Champions League success, with their campaign getting back underway with a last-16 tie against RB Leipzig. The first leg is in Germany on February 22, with the second back in Manchester on March 14.

READ MORE: Mass Man City exodus talked up as Barcelona target five top-class stars who are ‘disgruntled’ with Pep Guardiola