Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City transfers: Ilkay Gundogan finally decides future with dazzling deal on verge of confirmation

Ilkay Gundogan sitting on the Manchester City bench

Ilkay Gundogan is ready to end the conjecture about his future by leaving Manchester City to join Barcelona, according to reports.

Gundogan has just captained Man City to the treble, but the Champions League final was always at risk of being his last appearance for the club. After all, his contract is due to expire at the end of the month, which could bring an end to his seven-year spell in English football.

Barcelona have long since identified Gundogan as someone they would like to add to their squad on a free transfer. However, they will have to prove to La Liga that adding his salary onto their books would be viable.

In the meantime, Gundogan has been weighing up an offer to extend his contract with Man City. Furthermore, Arsenal have become contenders to take him elsewhere after already buying Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from City last summer.

Gundogan originally planned to make up his mind about his future last week, though he has been delaying. But the latest from 90min now indicates that he is ready to commit to his preferred option.

All along, Gundogan has been hoping to join Barcelona – and La Liga’s champions are ‘set to confirm’ his arrival, according to the report.

It’s claimed that Gundogan ‘has decided’ to go to Barcelona and has already communicated his choice to Pep Guardiola.

Barcelona are set to sign the Germany international on an initial two-year contract with the option of a third year. They will be offering him his first chance to play in the Spanish top flight.

Xavi’s side foresee no issues in registering Gundogan’s contract with La Liga. Therefore, it may only be a matter of time before they can make the move official.

New challenge on horizon for Gundogan

Gundogan previously came through the ranks at VfL Bochum in Germany before progressing with FC Nurnberg and Borussia Dortmund. He became Guardiola’s first signing at Man City in 2016.

That chapter of his career is now about to close after 304 appearances, 60 goals and 14 trophies. For several of those honours – including this season’s FA Cup after he scored a match-winning brace in the final against Man Utd – Gundogan has played an integral role.

At the age of 32, a new challenge now awaits him, where there will also be an expectation to compete for several pieces of silverware.

By joining Barcelona, Gundogan will get to reunite with former Man City colleagues Ferran Torres and Eric Garcia. In addition, he will rekindle his connection with former Borussia Dortmund teammate Robert Lewandowski and get to link up with German compatriot Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

He will join a midfield department that already consists of Frenkie de Jong, Gavi, Pedri, Sergi Roberto and Franck Kessie, but is losing Sergio Busquets at the end of his own contract.

As a more advanced midfielder, Gundogan won’t be a like-for-like replacement for Busquets, though.

While he prepares to depart Man City, the Premier League champions have agreed a deal to sign Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea.