Ilkay Gundogan, a midfielder for Manchester City, is reportedly planning to join Barcelona on a free transfer from the treble winners.
When his contract with City expires at the end of June, Gundogan is anticipated to finalize his transfer to the Spanish champions after accepting a three-year offer from Barcelona.
According to reports, City was prepared to offer their 32-year-old captain a new one-year deal with the possibility of an additional 12 months.
However, news of Gundogan’s potential transfer to Camp Nou broke on the same day that City reached an agreement to pay £30 million ($38 million) for Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
Gundogan was a significant figure in City’s success under Pep Guardiola, and Kovacic’s versatility and experience would help make up for his departure. Gundogan’s leadership and knack for scoring crucial goals were major factors in City’s success.
This season, Gundogan scored twice as City defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup final. After that, Guardiola’s Premier League champions defeated Inter Milan in the Champions League final.
The international player from Germany appeared in 51 games this season and scored 11 goals, including six in his final seven games as his team battled for the treble.
Only the second English team, City, has ever won all three major titles in the same year.
Gundogan will be cherished by City supporters as one of the quiet pillars of their team’s heyday.
In his seven years at City, the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder has won five Premier League championships, two FA Cups, four League Cups, and the Champions League.
Gundogan, who has a good relationship with Guardiola and has lived in the same opulent Manchester apartment building for many years, was someone the City manager was eager to keep.
Given Gundogan’s advanced age, City allegedly decided not to match Barcelona’s offer and instead made the logical choice to allow him to leave.