With the January transfer window fast approaching, one of the hottest properties that might be available is Borussia Dortmund’s star playmaker, Ilkay Gundogan. His current contract runs till 2015 which means Dortmund have about six months to get the midfielder to sign on the dotted line. But with the German midfielder refusing to sign any extension, it will be interesting to see how this transfer window pans out for the player given the rumours linking him to all the big European clubs.
Signed from FC Nurnberg in 2011, Gundogan has been instrumental in his time at Dortmund. Making 36 appearances in his first season at Borussia Dortmund, Gundogan was an integral part of the squad that went on to retain the German Bundesliga title. However it was in his second season at Dortmund that he went on to grab the attention of all European football clubs following his brilliant performances in the Champions League. Fast-paced, agile and gifted with brilliant passing skills, Gundogan is an asset for any European club. Technically sound and defensively astute, it was Gundogan who kept Dortmund’s hope alive in the Champions League final after he slotted in a brilliant penalty to equalize with Bayern Munich. However Dortmund went to lose the final in the dying minutes of the game but Ilkay Gundogan succeeded in mesmerizing the entire world with his brilliant performance.
With Mario Goetze leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer and Lewandowski set to leave at the end of the current season, the German side is desperate to hold on its midfielder. Jurgen Klopp understands the need to keep his star players in order to succeed after having lost successive midfielders to European rivals. But it has emerged that Ilkay Gundogan has refused to sign a contract extension which will force the German side to sell him by the end of this season. Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has come out in the open and admitted that he is not sure regarding Gundogan’s future.
It is our absolute desire that besides Robert Lewandowski no other regular player leaves the club. Only in the case of Ilkay Gundogan, we do not yet know how it will turn out. We would love to extend (the contract) with him.
With him available in the market this January, the transfer saga might turn into a bidding war with most European superpowers interested in purchasing the services of the young play-maker. Ilkay Gundogan has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester United and if these rumours do turn true, then Chelsea, Manchester City and PSG too might jump into the fray.
Manchester United are in desperate need to bring a play-maker into the squad after having failed to make an impact this season. Though David Moyes recognised Fabregas as his summer target, he had to make do with Fellaini who has failed to bridge the gap in the middle. Gundogan will be a necessary addition for the Red Devils, especially since the squad has been plagued with injuries. The German midfielder will be able to galvanise the squad playing right behind the striker and will enable Manchester United to pose a much serious threat to the opposition as compared to their recent performances.
But United are not the only English club interested in the young German midfielder. Arsenal too have been linked with the midfielder and it seems Arsene Wenger is inclined to add to his ammunition after having started this season on a brilliant form. However, it does not seem plausible for Wenger to go ahead and afford such extravagance in his squad especially since he has the position well-covered.
The two Spanish giants have also been linked with the midfielder and Marca even reported that Gundogan is on his way to Madrid after having refused a contract extension. According to the Spanish press, Real Madrid have the first right to buy the midfielder and will be able to procure his services for a bargain after selling Nuri Sahin to Dortmund in exchange. Often touted as the next ‘Alonso’ by Spanish press, it is possible that Real Madrid might be interested in the star midfielder even though they have a plethora of Spanish talent available at their disposal. But given their financial might and history of big signings, it will not be surprising to see Gundogan make his way to the Spanish capital in the near future.
With reports of Di Maria leaving Real Madrid this January emerging in the Spanish press, Madrid might look to another Gundogan to their squad. Having failed to consolidate his position in the squad following Gareth Bale’s summer arrival, Di Maria will be looking to test foreign waters with the World Cup starting in 7 months. Though Di Maria intitially refused to move away from Madrid and wanted to fight for his starting spot, many believe that Ancelotti is under immense pressure to justify Gareth Bale’s astronomical signing and hence was forced to drop the Argentine despite some brilliant performances.
Real Madrid or not, what has been made quite clear is that Ilkay Gundogan is not satisfied with his current club and might be looking for a move by the end of this season. And if Dortmund fails to sign the player for a longer future, it will not be wrong to expect a bidding war for the young midfielder.