According to reports from German media outlet Der Westen, Manchester United are close to securing the services of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. Sky Sports also confirmed the news later on, and it now appears that the deal is as good as done, with only the contract to be signed.
Borussia Dortmund’s torrid season is almost at an end, much to the relief of fans. However with manager Jurgen Klopp announcing that he will be departing at the end of the season, many have predicted it won’t be long until a number of Dortmund’s stars exit along side him.
Gundogan’s contract will expire at the end of next season, and it is widely reported that he is unwilling to make a renewal. Therefore, to avoid losing the player for free, Dortmund will look to offload the player this summer as they would obviously be reluctant to see a repeat of the Robert Lewandowski saga, which saw the player leave for free to rivals Bayern Munich.
It’s no secret that Gundogan is a hugely admired player across Europe. Many clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Real Madrid, have been touting a move for Gundogan ever since he burst onto the scenes. His brilliance for Dortmund between 2011 – 2013 alone has helped make his name as one of the best central midfielders around.
Although Gundogan has struggled with injuries over the last year, which saw him agonisingly miss out on last summers World Cup, where his country Germany walked away victorious. His return to football has shown he still has very much to offer, and at the tender age of 24, some might say he still has his best yet to come.
United have long been linked with many centre midfielders since the retirement of Paul Scholes. Arturo Vidal was constantly linked with a move last summer, Kevin Strootman has also seen his name repeatedly linked. However both moves seem to have been put off due to their injury troubles.
Michael Carrick’s age is another concern for United, as he’s been an integral part of the side. With only another year left on his contract, it could be that Louis van Gaal is planning to find a long term replacement for the Englishman.
Now it seems Ilkay Gundogan is the man who will step forward. Although he is not blessed with the height some might say a defensive midfielder should have, he does have many attributes to him which would make him a great fit at United. The German is widely used as a deep lying midfielder for club and country, but has the capabilities to take up any role in the centre of the field, with him previously playing as an attacking midfielder for his former club Nürnberg.
The news will have excited everyone at Manchester United. Gundogan’s presence in the United squad would certainly add that extra bit of class, and surely further the sides hopes of retaining the League title next year. It may be too early to say the deal is done, however there’s certainly signs that Manchester United are wanting to get their deals done as early as possible, and won’t be short of activity this summer.
All in all, Gundogan would definitely be a great addition to the side by LvG. The €30 million fee (around £21.5m) for the German international seems good business by United. At that price, and with his age, even if the star’s time at United did come to an abrupt end. The chances of United recouping that fee are very high so he looks like a player who is well worth signing and giving a genuine opportunity at Old Trafford.