Ilkay Gündogan is open to leaving Manchester City upon the completion of his contract in June, with Spanish giants Barcelona his preferred destination.
According to Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona will step up their attempts to bring Gündogan to Camp Nou this summer, after sending scouts to watch the German in action against Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening. Gündogan was instrumental in City's dominant 3-0 thrashing of the Bavarians and Barca boss Xavi is keen to add quality and experience to his midfield.
Gündogan is keen on the idea, having decided to leave the Etihad at the end of the current campaign. The midfielder joined Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in 2016, and has been integral to the success under Pep Guardiola in recent years.
Gündogan has made 293 appearances for the reigning Premier League champions, scoring 54 goals and registering 38 assists in all competitions. His late brace against Aston Villa on the final day of last season was crucial in clinching his fourth league title with the club. The 32 year old has also lifted four League Cups and one FA Cup during his time in England.
The aim now will be to bow out with a Champions League title added to his list of achievements. Gündogan was part of the side which lost to Chelsea in 2020's final, with the club looking to go one better this season following the resounding win over Bayern in the first leg of the quarter-finals.
Barcelona are out of European competition but lead La Liga by 13 points, with 10 games remaining. Xavi has been praised for bringing through a young group of players, centred around the talents of youngsters Pedri and Gavi. The Spanish coach is hopeful of persuading Sergio Busquets to stay for one more season and would also love to add a player of Gündogan's pedigree to his squad for next term.
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Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.