- Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan is set to leave the club for La Liga champions Barcelona
- Gundogan is set to join Barcelona on a free transfer as he is out of contract at City
- Gundogan joined City in 2016 winning five Premier League titles in seven years at Etihad Stadium
Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan is set to join Barcelona. The German international, whose contract expires this summer, appears unlikely to extend his stay with the treble-winning club.
Manchester City had offered the 32-year-old midfielder a new one-year contract, with the option of an additional 12 months. However, Barcelona is believed to have presented a more enticing three-year deal, which also offers greater financial rewards. As a result, Gundogan is expected to opt for a move to Barcelona. Manchester City is reportedly comfortable with the situation and will part ways with the player on good terms.
Interestingly, on the same day, Manchester City is said to have reached an agreement with Chelsea for the signing of Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic. The Premier League champions are set to pay an initial fee of £25 million for the 29-year-old, with an additional £5 million potentially added in performance-related bonuses. Kovacic, who joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2018, is entering the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge. The completion of the transfer is imminent, and an official announcement is expected to follow shortly.
The addition of Kovacic would help offset the loss of Gundogan for Manchester City. Kovacic’s versatility and experience, particularly his four Champions League triumphs (one with Chelsea in 2021 and three with Real Madrid), would be valuable assets for the club.
Gundogan has been a significant presence for Manchester City over the past seven years, contributing to the team’s success. During his time at the club, he has won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, and the Champions League. This season, Gundogan played a crucial role in City’s achievement of the treble, making them only the second English side to accomplish such a feat.
While Manchester City had a desire to retain Gundogan’s services, they were unwilling to match Barcelona’s offer due to his age. Consequently, the club made a pragmatic decision and accepted his departure. Barcelona’s proposal and the prospect of a fresh challenge were evidently more appealing to the German midfielder.
In summary, Ilkay Gundogan is expected to leave Manchester City and join Barcelona, declining the club’s contract extension offer. Barcelona’s more enticing three-year deal, coupled with financial incentives, has persuaded Gundogan to choose a move to Spain. Meanwhile, Manchester City is finalizing the signing of Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea, with a £30 million agreement in place. Kovacic’s versatility and Champions League experience will help fill the void left by Gundogan’s departure. Despite the loss of a key player, Manchester City remains committed to strengthening their squad and building on their recent successes.