Ilkay Gundogan has given little away when it comes to his Manchester City future, admitting he wanted more minutes in recent months but feels he is at the best place.
Gundogan was Pep Guardiola’s first signing as Manchester City manager. Due to a couple of injury issues, it took the former Borussia Dortmund man some time to get going. But he has proven his worth in recent years.
Despite this, it was recently reported that Gundogan could be allowed to move on in the summer. Given his desire for regular gametime, Manchester City would supposedly be glad to grant him his wish – by cashing in.
Guardiola responded to the reports by confirming he wants Gundogan to stay next season. The Germany international repaid his faith by scoring a brace that helped them win the Premier League on the final day of the 2021-22 season.
However, doubts linger about Gundogan’s future beyond then. He has since been linked with a transfer back to the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.
Now, speaking to the media in his homeland, Gundogan has hinted at the arguments either way for his future decision.
On one hand, he thinks City will remain the place to be for elite players while Guardiola is in charge. On the other, he has reiterated his desire to be given maximum faith in the big games.
It leaves his future delicately poised, as he admitted he has not thought about the technicalities of a transfer.
“We will sit down together in due course and exchange our ideas and plans, and then we will see what comes out of it,” Gundogan told Kicker. “The question is whether and when I want to do something new again.
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“I haven’t actually answered this question for myself yet. Football-wise, there is certainly still no better address than Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, and I think that will hardly change in the next few years.
“Of course, I would have liked to play a little longer in one or two important games over the last few months. That’s not a secret.
“I am a player who always wants to play. I also need that for my rhythm, otherwise I often find it difficult.”
Understandable for Gundogan to take time to reflect
Gundogan started 20 matches in the Premier League in the season just finished. He completed 90 minutes in 15 of them.
Of those, though, only four came against the sides that finished in the top six: Arsenal, Tottenham twice and Manchester United. Three of those games came before Christmas, too.
Therefore, not since February has Gundogan lasted a full match against another of the Premier League’s elite. But the 31-year-old is within the calibre of player that deserves to.
Only under contract for one more season, it could be time to consider his future.
That said, staying at City could always be tempting while they are enjoying such a spell of success.