Arsenal reportedly ‘like’ Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan but could face competition from Barcelona for his signature.
The Germany international is out of contract at the end of the season with some reports suggesting the Citizens are eager to tie him down to a new deal.
Gundogan has been a mainstay in the City team under Pep Guardiola, enjoying his best goalscoring season in 2020-21 when he found the back of the net 17 times in 46 matches.
Despite being 32 years of age, the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder is still a key player and is now club captain following last summer’s departure of Fernandinho.
It is no surprise to see Barcelona sniffing around Gundogan given their financial problems.
The La Liga giants have brought in their fair share of free agents in recent years and the City man would be another savvy addition.
Xavi already has plenty of depth in midfield but remains keen to further bolster that position.
There have been rumours that Guardiola has fallen out with several first-team players – including Gundogan.
Fichajes reported in January that Gundogan, Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Walker are all unhappy at the club.
Cancelo, as I am sure you are aware, left the club in the winter transfer window to join Bayern Munich on loan until the end of the season.
Even though that report is probably a load of rubbish, it does look like Gundogan will leave when his contract expires in June.
And according to Spanish newspaper Sport, Arsenal ‘like’ the experienced midfielder.
The Gunners signed Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus from City last summer and Mikel Arteta clearly has his eyes set on another player he used to coach.
The Spanish manager knows Gundogan well from his time as Guardiola’s assistant and has got the best out of Zinchenko and Jesus this season.
Arsenal are expected to sign a new midfielder in the summer with West Ham’s Declan Rice their number-one target.
Rice can operate as a deep-lying or box-to-box midfielder, hinting that Arteta is looking to sign a versatile player, which Gundogan certainly is.
Gundogan has shown he has an eye for goal in recent seasons, which is something Granit Xhaka has improved in this term in his newfound role as a no. 8.
However, the Swiss is probably someone Arteta will look to replace in the next year or two, although he has proven me wrong many times before, so will probably still be a regular starter in three years’ time.
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