English Premier League runners-up Arsenal are considering an ambitious deal to sign Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan when his contract expires this summer, David Ornstein reports for the Athletic.
Mikel Arteta has accepted that influential midfielder Granit Xhaka would leave the club this summer, with a move to Bayer Leverkusen nearing its completion.
Gundogan has an unresolved future at the Etihad Stadium despite helping them win a third consecutive league title at the expense of the Gunners, with his contract set to expire this summer.
Gundogan has a number of suitors, including Spanish champions FC Barcelona, if he decides not to sign the extension offered to him by Manchester City.
Arsenal transfer news: Arteta looking to raid Manchester City for Ilkay Gundogan
Arteta has made a habit of returning to his old club to pick players to join him at Arsenal, therefore, it is no surprise to see him make a move for Gundogan.
The north London club signed Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from the Cityzens last summer and both players raised their level immediately, helping them sustain a title push for the first time in years.
Gundogan – who has won six league titles in his career (five with Manchester City and one with Borussia Dortmund) has been praised by Pep Guardiola for his intelligence on and off the ball, and is one of the best midfielders in the world at arriving in the box. The 32-year-old German has eight goals and five assists this season for Guardiola’s side.
In Gundogan, Arsenal would find an experienced superstar with the right temperament to guide their young team. The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder will be tempted by the offer to try and beat Guardiola and Manchester City to the league title next season.
According to Fabrizio Romano, City will offer Gundogan a one-year extension with the option of another year, with the midfielder appreciated at the club. It remains to be seen if he stays on at the club or chooses to take up a new challenge.