Ilkay Gundogan wants to join Barcelona but Xavi has a plan to…

Ilkay Gundogan wants to join Barcelona but Xavi has a plan to…
Ilkay Gundogan Man City
Gundogan Man City

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has been linked with a move to Barcelona but Pep Guardiola is willing to fight Xavi’s team to try and hold onto the German.

Ilkay Gundogan has been with Manchester City for seven years but his contract expires at the end of June and for months there have been rumours that he wants to join the Catalans as a free agent.

Xavi rates the midfielder very highly but Pep Guardiola also wants to hold onto him which is why City have now offered him a new contract extension.

“We are interested in renewing his contract and [Barcelona] are also interested,” Guardiola told reporters(h/t ESPN).

“I hope he stays with us. We are still fighting for him to stay with us. He is a player we want to stay — and we will do all we can — but we know Barca want him.

“If Barca sign him, they will have a spectacular footballer on their hands. I am aware Xavi has called him a lot. If, in the end, he picks Barca, I will tell him he will enjoy himself.”

Which club will Ilkay Gundogan end up with next season?

Ilkay Gundogan has his heart set on playing for FC Barcelona but as per the rumours, the 32-year-old is yet to make up his mind.

Up until now, there were no offers from Manchester City which is why everyone was thinking Gundogan will eventually move to Spain but now that Pep has offered him a new deal, the midfielder is pondering.

Barca are yet to make any contract offer which is a bit surprising given that the player is so keen to play under Xavi. However, this may be because they are waiting for Gundogan to sort out his mind.

He has won everything there is to win with Manchester City so it won’t be a surprise if he snubs their offer for a fresh challenge. This season, he scored and assisted 12 goals in 31 Premier League games and was also a key figure in helping Manchester City secure a historic treble.

Losing a player like him will obviously be a big blow for Guardiola but in reality, Gundogan is 32 years old so it makes no sense to try and convince him too much.

At best, he has one or two more years of top-level football left in him and because Pep has ample backup, he can afford to lose Ilkay Gundogan. This season, the German played in a more advanced midfield position and players like Phil Foden or Bernardo Silva can easily play in that role.

Barcelona are not sitting with their hands folded because they have identified Giovani Lo Celso as the backup (Marca) for Gundogan but we think there’s a sizeable chance that the Manchester City man will move to Spain as a free agent in the coming weeks.

Video Ilkay Gundogan to Barcelona – Latest Transfer Updates

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