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Despite Ilkay Gundogan recreating his own version of Sergio Aguero’s iconic ’93:20’ moment by scoring a heroic brace to clinch the 2021/22 Premier League title for Manchester City on the final day of the season, this does not change the fact that his future still remains uncertain at the Etihad Stadium.
The 31-year old’s current deal is set to expire in the summer of 2023, with plenty of top European sides unsurprisingly interested in signing one of Europe’s finest and most experienced midfielders.
As per a report by German newspaper BILD, while Manchester City would like to extend Ilkay Gundogan’s contract beyond next summer, putting pen to paper is now considered ‘out of the question’ for the player.
This stems from the fact that the ageing midfielder’s next deal is likely to be his last at the elite level of the sport, which gives him the golden opportunity of moving to unexplored destinations from next season - perhaps his last big transfer before retirement.
It has been claimed that the two European juggernauts interested in Ilkay Gundogan’s signature include La Liga's Barcelona - who have been described as the Germany international's ‘dream club’ since childhood, as well as Serie A's Juventus - who are ‘committed’ to making a deal go though.
The report claims that as things stand, the four-time Premier League champion’s decision about where his future lies beyond Manchester City is ‘completely open’. However, it has been emphasised that the player demands regular playing time in order to guarantee his seat on the plane to the Qatar World Cup later this year.
Ultimately, the tournament could well be the German international’s last for his country, as there remains a doubt whether he will partake at the European Championships in 2024.
After their former captain Fernandinho left the Etihad Stadium at the end of the previous campaign, it is expected that Manchester City would not want to lose their vice-captain’s senior presence as well ahead of the 2022/23 season.
However, the club are in the search for a midfield recruit this summer, and while the aim of signing Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United is likely to replace Fernandinho and not Ilkay Gundogan, it would certainly offset the damage potentially caused by the German's potential departure.
Featured Image Credit: Mark Pain / Alamy
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