Barcelona are now ‘confident’ that they will be able to sign Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer, according to reports.
The 32-year-old has allegedly been offered a new ‘short-term deal’ to extend his stay at the Etihad beyond this season, but negotiations have so far hit a standstill.
Gundogan has played a major role in Man City’s success under Pep Guardiola, but now he seems to be edging towards a summer departure.
According to the Times, the Catalans have offered the German international a two-year contract, although, he is said to be ‘mindful’ of their recent financial issues.
They also claim that Gundogan has admirers in Italy, so there is certainly no shortage of interest in his signature.
However, as reported by Football365, the midfielder’s current focus is solely on winning the treble with Man City before the season’s end – with the Cityzens still fighting for the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup.
This was confirmed by his agent and uncle, Ilhan Gundogan, who on Saturday, said: “I am surprised where the stories come from about an agreement closed for many weeks.
“There is still no agreement with any club. It is not yet decided where he will play in the next few years.
“Ilkay can still win three major trophies this season as captain of Manchester City. That’s the only thing he’s focused on right now.”
Since signing for the Manchester club in 2016, Gundogan has made 293 appearances across all competitions, scoring 54 goals and making 38 assists in the process.
He has also helped his team to lift four Premier League titles, an FA Cup and four League Cups – and is looking to finish his career in England on a high.
As mentioned, an agreement is yet to be made between Gundogan and Barcelona, but if the Times’ most recent report is to be believed, it is looking increasingly likely – even with a short-term offer from City on the table.
His potential departure would leave a void in Guardiola’s Man City squad that the manager would need to fill ahead of next season.
With that in mind, the Cityzens could now ramp up their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund superstar, Jude Bellingham.
The England international has been linked with big-money moves to Liverpool and Manchester United recently but with the Premier League duo now pulling out of the race, there could be a battle between Man City and Real Madrid for his signature this summer.
However, the question is whether City would be willing to meet Bellingham’s price tag of approximately £132m.