Barcelona ‘pushing’ for Man City star in savvy move, while Guardiola hopes to ‘convince him to stay’

Ciaran McCarthy
Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Manchester City, January 2023

Barcelona are reportedly ‘pushing’ for Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer, though Pep Guardiola’s side are hopeful they can ‘convince him to stay put’.

Gundogan is the second longest-serving player at the Etihad, behind Kevin De Bruyne. The German midfielder has been at the club for coming up to seven years, and has made 286 appearances.

He’s been a crucial member of the squad in that time and has been part of some big triumphs.

During Gundogan’s time at the Etihad, City have won four Premier League titles, four League Cup titles and an FA Cup. The midfielder continues to play a big role this season.

Indeed, he’s captained the side for much of the campaign and has missed just four games in all competitions. Furthermore, he’s scored three goals and provided three assists during those appearances.

As such, he’s clearly one of City’s more important assets. While he’s not having the same impact of the likes of Erling Haaland and De Bruyne, he’s a very useful player to have.

City might not have him to call upon for too much longer, though. Gundogan is apparently one of a few players who are “unhappy” with Guardiola, and the midfielder may “like” the idea of a move to Barcelona, who he’s been linked with.

A fresh report from Football Insider has suggested Barcelona are now ‘pushing’ for Gundogan. With his contract up at the end of the season, that’s a smart move from Barca.

If they could land him, they’d be getting a top asset for nothing. That’s all the more savvy considering the La Liga giants are ‘struggling financially,’ meaning a free transfer is useful for them.

City won’t go down without a fight, though. Previous reports have suggested they have given Gundogan the opportunity to renew his deal at the Etihad.

Football Insider reports the club ‘haven’t given up hope they can convince him to stay put’. While they’d no doubt cope without him, it’s not hard to see why they’d want to keep somebody who has been a fixture of the side during a lot of recent successes.

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