Barca count on ‘good relations’ to secure two Man City stars

Date published: Monday 7th June 2021 9:38 - Joe Williams

Ilkay Gundogan Gabriel Jesus Man City

Barcelona want to sign Man City stars Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus in the summer transfer window, according to reports.

Gundogan has been at the top of his game this season for City, helping them reach the Champions League final and win the Premier League and League Cup.

The 30-year-old scored 17 goals in all competitions and provided three assists as he enjoyed a more forward role at times this term.

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And that form has caught the attention of Barcelona with the Spanish giants also reportedly interested in his Man City team-mate Jesus, who bagged just nine Premier League goals this campaign.

Spanish publication Sport claim: ‘Their relations with Man City are good and there is a chance that the English side would open their doors to two players whom Barca might like, in Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan.’

The report describes Gundogan as ‘an alternative to [Georginio] Wijnaldum’ with the Netherlands international reportedly opting to join Paris Saint-Germain over Barcelona.

With Sergio Aguero signing and Memphis Depay believed to be on his way, Barcelona ‘would only sign him [Jesus] if the opportunity was irresistible’.

Barcelona could have a job on persuading Pep Guardiola to sell Gundogan though, with the Spaniard hailing the Germany international as “one of the most intelligent” players he has ever coached.

Speaking in March, Guardiola said: “He’s always had a sense of [where the] goal [is], playing for [Borussia] Dortmund.

“He’s an incredibly nice guy. He’s one of the… I will never forget the time we spent together. As a player he is one of the most intelligent, wisest players I have ever trained, I have ever seen.

“This season, every time he has arrived near the goal, he has scored the goal, he has this quality but not just that. I’m so delighted with the performance from Ilkay again and from all of the team.”

Ilkay Gundogan Gabriel Jesus Man City

Meanwhile, former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher was full of praise for Gundogan in Ferbuary for helping Man City fill the void left by a lack of goals from strikers.

“I think on the back of Man City having problems with strikers – (Gabriel) Jesus didn’t play yesterday and (Sergio) Aguero is out – other people have had to step up to the plate and this man has done it more than anyone,” Carragher said.

“We have known for so long now about Pep’s full-backs going into midfield. It’s nothing new. He’s done it since he first came.

“But when Cancelo steps into midfield, it then means that Gundogan isn’t a holding midfield player anymore. He’s an attacking eight, he’s a No 10, he’s between the lines and I think this relationship between those two has been pivotal.

“He’s always making penetrating runs, putting his arm up and wanting to get involved. This is not something we saw too much when he first came in.

“He’s gone from a goal every 10 shots to a goal every five shots because he’s taking them from better areas and better positions. No silly shots from outside the box, hence why he’s getting more chances of scoring.”


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