The 24-year-old signed a one-year extension to his current deal at the Westfalenstadion last week, completing a U-turn after originally claiming he wouldn’t put pen to paper to a new deal. This means that the midfielder is now tied down to the Bundesliga side until 2017, giving new manager Thomas Tuchel a major boost ahead of the new season.
However, the Germany international has kept the door open to a departure. He noted that the new deal could just be to make sure BVB get more money if they sell next year, and perhaps more importantly reiterated his desire for a new challenge in his career.
“You can always see from two different perspectives: some will say, okay, he has extended, and if he should go next year, the club will therefore still get a lot of money. So it’s all good,” Gundogan told Kicker.
“And others say: Again, it’s only one year. Everyone has to form his own opinion – I just want to be honest. I appreciate this wonderful club very much, but my life plan also looks at some time with a new challenge.”
Gundogan played 33 times in the last campaign, completing his recovery from a serious back injury which had restricted him to just three appearances the season before. Although the latter stages of 2014 were dire times for the German side, with the team languishing in the relegation zone, they picked up performances in 2015 and the former Nurnberg ace’s return to full fitness was a key part of that.
The two Premier League sides are interested in Gundogan for differing reasons.
The Gunners will want him to partner Francis Coquelin in the middle of the park, after the Frenchman won a regular place in the side with his performances after returning from a loan period at Charlton Athletic. Meanwhile, the Red Devils could make the Bundesliga ace a far more central figure, perhaps as the main man in their midfield.