Ilkay Gundogan is one of the many midfielders on Barcelona’s radars looking to strengthen the center of the park ahead of Sergio Busquets’ imminent summer departure.
The Germany international is a player admired by manager Xavi Hernandez, who is said to be keen to sign him next summer.
Gundogan is in the final year of his contract with Manchester City and would be available on a free transfer in 2023, making him an attractive prospect for Barca, who are still struggling financially.
However, according to reports, as reported by Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have suffered a setback in their pursuit of Gundogan, as the midfielder may have already decided to renew his contract with Manchester City.
The 32-year-old has been with the Premier League giants since 2016, arriving at the club at the same time as Pep Guardiola. And he has been a key member of Man City’s success over the past six years.
This season, the former Borussia Dortmund ace has scored and assisted two goals each in 20 games in all competitions. And although Germany was recently eliminated from the World Cup, the veteran star gave a good account of himself.
So it’s understandable why Xavi and Barcelona might be interested in signing Gundogan, given the experience and winning mentality he would bring to the table.
However, according to the report, Gundogan, having been aware of Barça’s interest and weighing up the option of a transfer, is closer to deciding to renew with Manchester City and continue playing with Guardiola.
The Catalan coach himself has recently signed a new contract with the reigning Premier League champions. It may have played a role in Gundogan’s reported stance, as he had previously hinted that Guardiola’s future would have an influence on his decision.