Ilkay Gundogan could end up staying at Borussia Dortmund this summer despite reported interest from some of Europe’s top clubs, according to Metro Sport.
The German international has been linked with a move to Arsenal, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Barcelona following reports that he will not sign an extension to his current contract, which expires at the end of next season.
The Gunners were understood to have registered an interest in the deep-lying playmaker shortly before the end of the season, and Mail Sport claimed contact had been made with Gundogan’s representatives, although there has been no official confirmation from either party.
Reports in the English media back in April [via SkySports] claimed the Red Devils were close to agreeing a deal for the 24-year-old, who is seen as the long-term successor for Michael Carrick, but those claims were swiftly rejected by Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc [via Mirror Sport].
This transfer saga then took a major twist as Daily Star Sport claimed Dortmund has reached a deal with rivals Bayern to sell Gundogan and get highly-rated Danish midfielder Pierre Højbjerg in return, however, the Bundesliga champions have now reportedly withdrawn their interest.
La Liga, Champions League and Copa Del Rey winners Barcelona have also been linked with the German as they look to replace legendary midfielder Xavi and Gundogan admitted last month [via Mail Sport] that talks over a switch to the Camp Nou had begun.
However, Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke is hopeful that the influential midfielder will still be at Westfalenstadion by the time the new season kicks-off:
“Maybe there is still a chance that he has a rethink,” he told German publication WAZ.
“We are in talks and Ilkay is a decent lad,” Watzke added.
Old Trafford appears to be the most likely destination for Gundogan if he does depart Dortmund this summer, but the Red Devils do have contingency plans in case they fail to lure the midfielder to Manchester.
French duo Morgan Schneiderlin [via ESPN] and Geoffrey Kondogbia [via Daily Star Sport] are thought to be on manager Louis van Gaal’s transfer wishlist as he looks to strengthen the engine room ahead of the new season.