Ilkay Gündogan has agreed to join Barcelona on a free transfer, thereby ruining Manchester City’s hopes of retaining the crucial midfielder. The 32yearold, who was captain and a key component in City’s treblewinning team, scoring twice in the FA Cup final, has signed to a twoyear contract with Barça, with an option for a further year. City’s deal with Gündogan was set to expire at the end of the month.
City are aware that Gündogan has agreed to join Barcelona, and he departs with the champions’ approval and respect. They offered the German a new one-year deal with the option of a second year. But his pay demands, combined with the Catalan club’s offer of three years, means City are OK with him leaving, given their midfield alternatives.
They would also point to a history of releasing older athletes when the moment was appropriate. Yaya Touré, Sergio Agüero, Fernandinho, and Pablo Zabaleta are among them.
“We are interested in renewing his contract, and [Barcelona] are also interested,” Pep Guardiola told reporters during a golf event on Monday. I’m hoping he’ll stay with us. We are still battling to keep him with us. We want him to stay and will do all we can to keep him, but we also know Barça wants him.
“If Barcelona signs him, they will have a fantastic footballer on their hands.” I’m aware that Xavi [Barcelona’s manager] has phoned him frequently. If he chooses Barça in the end, I will assure him that he will have a good time.”
Ilkay Gündogan is heading towards Spain after winning the Treble
City has depth in all departments, although Bernardo Silva might go in the summer transfer window. The Saudi Pro League seems interested in Silva, as it is with many other Premier League players.
Speculation regarding the 28-year-old’s future, whose current contract extends until 2025, has led to ties with PSG and Barcelona. City and Guardiola want the midfielder to stay in Manchester.
Following the departure of Gündogan, City promptly boosted their midfield options by signing Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea. City is likely to buy the Croatian Midfielder for £25 million plus £5 million in add-ons.