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Ilkay Gündoğan has arguably enjoyed the best season of his career, completed by lifting the UEFA Champions League trophy after Manchester City’s 1-0 victor over Inter on Saturday. However, his future remains a huge talking point.
The German international, who turns 33 in October, is out of contract with the Premier League giants at the end of this month, and it has been widely circulated that Gündoğan has kicked his last kick for the club. He does have several options on the table as to what he does next.
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano is never too far away from big transfer stories such as this and he has confirmed on his Twitter page exactly what the name of the game is. Do Man City want to keep him? Who wants to sign him?
The first option for Gündoğan is indeed to remain a Manchester City player. Although he is indeed out of contract, his manager, and next door neighbour, Pep Guardiola, does want to keep him at the club. A one-year deal, with the option of another year, has been offered.
Perhaps a more attractive deal in terms of length of deal comes from La Liga champions Barcelona. They have tabled a three-year deal to try and lure him to the Nou Camp. During a 2017 interview with Bleacher Report, the former Borussia Dortmund man confirmed current Barcelona boss, Xavi, is one of his idols, along with Andrea Pirlo and Zinedine Zidane.
Romano also stated that a string of clubs in Saudi Arabia have been chasing his signature since the turn of the year. Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are two high-profile names to make the switch from European football, although Lionel Messi decided against this, and joined Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.
Another option on the table for Gündoğan is to remain in the Premier League, but to join a rival of Manchester City in the form of Arsenal. Gunners manager Mikel Arteta has worked with Gündoğan during his time as part of Guardiola’s coaching staff. Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko have swapped Etihad Stadium for Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2022.
With these options on the table, it presents a decision for the talented player to make. The fact we have reached this point where his contract is soon to expire means that he wants to consider all options available to him. Gündoğan has been on the books at City since joining in 2016, and perhaps he feels the time is now right for a new challenge.
Mundo Deportivo reported a few days’ ago that French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain is another club that is part of the conversation, and wishes to sign the attacker. The same source however also claims that Gündoğan himself has verbally agreed to join Barcelona, and become a team mate of players such as Robert Lewandowski and fellow German, Marc-André ter Stegen.
Now that the season officially concluded following the UEFA Champions League Final, it is fair to say that we will soon find out the next destination of Ilkay Gündoğan.
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