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Arsenal report: Mikel Arteta in shock swoop for Ilkay Gundogan – and could play him as a STRIKER

Arsenal target Ilkay Gundogan
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan – and Mikel Arteta might have a master plan for the German.

Gundogan joined City as Pep Guardiola's first signing at Eastlands and has been integral to the Citizens winning titles and venturing further in the Champions League than ever. The three-time Premier League winner is now expected to leave at the end of the season, having played a lot less this season and seen Bernardo Silva take his spot in midfield.

Barcelona has been touted as a potential destination for the midfielder, should Xavi lose Frenkie de Jong to the Premier League – but Arsenal could throw their hat in the ring for Gundogan and offer him the opportunity to play as a striker in Arteta's system.

Mikel Arteta

(Image credit: Getty) (opens in new tab) claims that Arteta is interested in the 31-year-old, who would certainly add experience to a young side – but that he could fill the void up front. The Gunners are set to lose both Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette for nothing at the end of the season.

Gundogan was City's top scorer in 2020/21, playing as a false nine in Pep Guardiola's system. With Arteta having worked with the player, he could well be aware of what Gundogan can offer to his side firsthand. 

"I said many times he could play as a striker, like a false nine, and people laughed," Guardiola noted of Gundogan in January 2021 last year. 

Manchester City: Pep Guardiola and Ilkay Gundogan

(Image credit: Getty)

While it's perhaps unlikely that Arteta would use him as a focal point in his 4-3-3, the Basque boss is on the lookout for midfield cover and could well invest in Gundogan to play in a left-sided role in a midfield three, rotating with Granit Xhaka.

Gundogan is valued at around £32 million by Transfermarkt

More Arsenal stories

Arsenal have been linked with one Borussia Dortmund star whose contract is up in 2023 – and he doesn't look likely to renew.

The rumour mill is going into overdrive over who Arsenal will bring in to fill the centre-forward spot in the team next season. Tammy Abraham has been heavily linked since last summer with those whispers refusing to go away, Ivan Toney has entered the frame as an option, while "the new Thierry Henry" has been touted.

Gabriel Jesus is a big rumour doing the rounds right now, as is Darwin Nunez, who Manchester United are reportedly closer to signing. Another Brazilian wonderkid is also apparently in talks.

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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT