Ilkay Gundogan agent denies Barcelona agreement


İlkay Gündoğan of Manchester City on the ball during the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg match between Manchester City and FC Bayern München at Etihad Stadium on April 11, 2023 in Manchester, England.

The uncle and agent of Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan has denied that the Germany international is on the verge of a move to Barcelona this summer.

Gundogan’s contract with the Premier League champions only runs until the end of the season, and an extension for the midfielder appears increasingly unlikely.

Barcelona have long been linked with a move for the 32-year-old as Xavi seeks to bolster his midfield options, and a free transfer would appeal to the cash-strapped Catalans.

It has recently been reported that Gundogan has decided to head to Camp Nou when his Man City deal runs out, with Sport claiming that his switch to Catalonia is ‘practically complete’.

Gundogan is alleged to be on the brink of signing a two-year deal worth €12m (£10.7m) per season, despite his representatives claiming only a couple of weeks ago that his future was still undecided.

In the wake of recent reports, Gundogan’s agent Ilhan Gundogan has expressed his ‘surprise’ at suggestions that Barcelona are close to wrapping up a deal and affirmed that the midfielder is no closer to making a decision on his next career move.

“I am surprised at where the stories come from about a deal closed for many weeks. There is still no agreement with any club. It is not yet decided where he will play in the next few years,” Ilhan Gundogan told AS.

“Ilkay can still win three major trophies this season as Manchester City captain. That’s the only thing he’s focused on right now.”

Despite his agent’s comments, Gundogan is still thought to be attracted to the idea of moving to Barcelona, with his wife said to be growing tired of living in Manchester and pining for a change of scene.

The ex-Borussia Dortmund man could arrive at Camp Nou as a replacement for the long-serving Sergio Busquets, who is also due to become a free agent at the end of the current campaign.

Both Xavi and president Joan Laporta have announced their desire to keep Busquets at the club, but the 34-year-old is yet to respond to Barca’s latest renewal offer.

Gundogan was the first signing of the Pep Guardiola era at Man City in 2016, and he was promoted to full-time captain by his teammates last summer following Fernandinho’s exit.

The German has posted 54 goals and 38 assists in 293 matches for the Premier League champions in all tournaments and has played yet another crucial role in the first XI this term, scoring five times and setting up five more in 40 matches.

Gundogan boasts 11 major honours from his time at the Etihad, clinching four Premier League titles, four EFL Cups, one FA Cup and two Community Shields over the past seven years.

Man City can cut the gap to Premier League leaders Arsenal down to three points when they host relegation candidates Leicester City on Saturday evening.

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