FC Barcelona are a team currently in development, with their squad lacking the visible quality depth that would make them European contenders. To reinforce this lack of depth, the Catalans are attempting to lure away a proven midfielder from Manchester City, and the player in question is none other than Ilkay Gundogan.
While simply the thought of such a transfer would make the most earnest of Barcelona fans salivate, it is made even more attractive with the fact that Gundogan would arrive as a free agent. With the German’s contract set to expire in the summer, he would essentially be free to negotiate a transfer with any club of his choice should he choose not to renew with his current club.
However, there exist obvious hurdles in any such move for an elite-level player. Current Manchester City boss and ex-Barcelona manager, Pep Guardiola, is publicly insistent that he wishes for Gundogan to stay at the English side and work alongside the Spanish manager for longer.
Following the Blue’s 2-1 victory over Leeds United in their Premier League race for the title, a win inspired and led by Gundogan’s two goals and the German’s overall great performance, the manager could not help but praise the 32-year-old midfielder, stating:
With such huge words of praise, the manager complimented his statement by also making it clear that he is well aware of the chances of the German departing for elsewhere, but that he wishes for him to stay:
This is also not the first time that Pep Guardiola has been questioned regarding Ilkay Gundogan’s future and the Catalan coach has also given his two cents on the matter before as well, suggesting that the matter mainly lies between the player, his agent, and the club.
As the summer transfer window progresses, it will be interesting to see just how both FC Barcelona and Manchester City are able to persuade and entice Ilkay Gundogan to pledge to their respective badges with their subsequent financial and sporting offers both being key to lure him away from the other.