Barcelona working on summer move for Manchester City skipper Ilkay Gundogan – report

Barcelona-linked Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium on 12 February, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Barcelona (opens in new tab) have already got to work on a summer deal for Manchester City (opens in new tab) captain Ilkay Gundogan, according to reports.

The 32-year-old Germany international remains an integral part of Pep Guardiola's team but is out of contract this summer, after seven years at the Etihad Stadium.

And Barcelona-based outlet Mundo Deportivo (via Forbes) (opens in new tab) are claiming that Barca have been in 'frequent' contact with Gundogan's agent – who also represents Blaugrana defender Andreas Christensen – to negotiate a move to the Camp Nou.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gives instructions to Ilkay Gundogan during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Sevilla and Manchester City at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan on 6 September, 2022 in Seville, Spain.

Gundogan has been at City since the beginning of the Guardiola era (Image credit: David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Arriving from Borussia Dortmund (opens in new tab) in the summer of 2016, Gundogan was Guardiola's first signing as City manager. Injury restricted him to just 16 appearances during his first season with the club, but he's been a regular ever since, starring in four Premier League title-winning campaigns.

Surely Gundogan's most significant contribution in a City shirt came on the final day of last season, when came off the bench to bag a brace – including the winner – as Guardiola's side came from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa (opens in new tab) and retain the title.

Gundogan has continued to prove his importance this term, starting 16 of City's 23 league games so far. He's scored three goals and provided three assists, setting up Jack Grealish in Wednesday's 3-1 win away to Arsenal (opens in new tab) – a result which knocked the Gunners off top spot.

Guardiola, though, has had little to say on his skipper's future, insisting that "it is a question for him and his agent" (opens in new tab) when he spoke ahead of Saturday's trip to Nottingham Forest.

Ilkay Gundogan of Germany looks on during the FIFA World Cup 2022 group stage match between Spain and Germany at the Al Bayt Stadium on 27 November, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar.

Gundogan has earned 66 caps for Germany, playing at the 2018 and 2022 World Cups (Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

With Barcelona's well-documented financial situation (opens in new tab) this still less than ideal, potential free signings like Gundogan might just fit the bill at the Camp Nou this summer.

And, as things stand, it looks like Barca will be La Liga champions by then. Having lost only once all season, Xavi's side currently lead arch-rivals Real Madrid by eight points with 17 matches to go.

More Manchester City stories

After scoring in the crucial win over Arsenal in midweek, Jack Grealish has backed City to go on a long winning run very soon (opens in new tab).

Elsewhere, Joao Cancelo has insisted that he has no axe to grind with Pep Guardiola (opens in new tab), following rumours that a bust-up led the defender to join Bayern Munich on loan last month.

Meanwhile, Premier League legend Thierry Henry has explained why he feels Harry Kane is a better striker than prolific City frontman Erling Haaland (opens in new tab).

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...