Ilkay Gundogan could be all set to leave the defending champions at the end of the season. The silky midfielder joined the Citizens in 2016 and has been a mainstay in the midfield in the Pep Guardiola era. His time at the Etihad could now be coming to an end though.
Manchester City are still in a title race, one point ahead of fierce rivals Liverpool. Any rumours of the exit of a key player could prove to be a distraction, which there is no space for in a game of such high stakes.
The ever reliant Fabrizio Romano has claimed that discussions between the German’s representatives and the board have taken place. Barcelona, Arsenal and several German are interested in his services, should he leave the Etihad.
The former Borussia Dortmund man has played 130 times for Manchester City and has 46 goal contributions to his name. Gundogan has perhaps been underappreciated in his time in the Premier League. His reliability and versatility set him apart from his peers. He played in unfamiliar positions with ease whenever the manager called upon him. After Fernandinhio’s injury in the 2018/19 season, he played as a defensive midfielder. Last season saw him adapt to a new false nine role as he became a goal machine, scoring a career-best of 13 goals. It was this adaptability of Gundogan which helped City reclaim the title from Liverpool, despite the absence of a recognized centre forward.
What Next For City?
With the departure of Fernandinhio and now Gundogan, City will be looking for options to bolster their midfield. Both were supremely talented and formed the core of the most successful era of Manchester City. Paul Pogba, Declan Rice and Frenkie De Jong are touted as possible replacements.
Any team will miss the presence of a midfielder like Gundogan. He was Guardiola’s first signing in Manchester, and it is safe to say that it was an excellent one. He leaves the club after winning 3 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup and 4 League Clubs.