Ilkay Gundogan, the current captain of Manchester City, is set to leave the club and make a move to Barcelona on a free transfer as his contract expires at the end of this month.
While Manchester City had offered Gundogan a new contract, it is believed that he has negotiated a more lucrative three-year deal with the Spanish champions.
Gundogan, aged 32, played a vital role in Manchester City’s successful season, which saw them achieve an impressive treble. Throughout the 2022-23 campaign, the German midfielder featured in 51 matches and scored 11 goals. His influence became particularly evident in the closing weeks of the season, as he netted six goals in the final seven games, including a memorable brace in the FA Cup final victory over Manchester United.
Notably, Gundogan played the entire 90 minutes in the Champions League final, where Manchester City emerged triumphant with a 1-0 win against Inter Milan. This triumph, coupled with their Premier League and FA Cup triumphs, further solidified Gundogan’s status as a key contributor to the team’s success.
Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, expressed his desire to retain Gundogan, emphasising his significance to the squad. Earlier this month, Guardiola mentioned that the club’s director, Txiki Begiristain, was actively working on securing Gundogan’s stay, hoping for a positive outcome.
Having joined Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in 2016 for a reported fee of £20 million, Gundogan has made an indelible impact. With 304 appearances and 60 goals to his name, he has been an instrumental figure in Manchester City’s trophy-laden era, clinching a total of 14 titles, including five Premier League championships, one Champions League trophy, two FA Cups, four Carabao Cups, and two Community Shields.
For the 2022-23 season, Gundogan was bestowed with the captain’s armband following the departure of Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, further solidifying his leadership and importance within the squad. Now, his imminent move to Barcelona marks the end of an illustrious chapter with Manchester City and opens up a new chapter in his career with the Spanish giants.