Barcelona beat Arsenal, City in transfer race barring ‘radical turnaround’ after easing registration ‘fears’

Jason Soutar
Barcelona target Ilkay Gundogan with the Barca, Arsenal and Man City badges.

Barcelona are close to finalising a deal to sign Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, according to reports.

Gundogan is expected to play for a new club next season with his City contract expiring at the end of June.

The European champions have been attempting to tie the German down to a new long-term contract but appear to have failed to do so.

Arsenal were also keen on signing the German international, who has attracted interest from Saudi Arabia.

Gundogan seems to have snubbed the tempting big-money offer to relocate to the middle east, with several reports saying a move to Barcelona is edging closer.

There have been fears over the Blaugrana’s funds ahead of the summer transfer window, with more free transfers likely to be a priority for manager Xavi and club president Joan Laporta.

Even so, being able to register signings has been a concern for a few years amidst the club’s woeful financial situation, which appears to have been one of the reasons why Gundogan has taken so long to agree a move to the Nou Camp.

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Having won everything possible at the Etihad, Gundogan’s move to Barcelona seems inevitable. Spanish outlet Relevo have reported on Wednesday that the deal is ’99 per cent’ done.

The report says Gundogan will be a Barcelona player ‘barring a radical last-minute turnaround’ and has agreed a two-year deal, with the option for a third year, after passing medical tests in Germany.

It is claimed City’s final stab at getting the 32-year-old to renew his contract was ‘made in vain’. The Premier League champions apparently only offered him one year, plus the option to extend until 2025.

Gundogan will have more security at Barcelona and will be at the Nou Camp for the next three years if he plays a certain amount of games in 2024/25.

The soon-to-be free agent will pen his Barca contract on Wednesday afternoon with the La Liga champions now expected to ‘prioritise’ player sales.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano says the Blaugrana are working to ‘guarantee’ they can register Gundogan for the 23/24 campaign.

Meanwhile, Spanish journalist Toni Juanmarti has said any doubts Gundogan had over a move was down to ‘fears’ he will not be registered, hinting that he has been convinced this will not be an issue once he joins.

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