Barcelona have reportedly identified Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan as the man to replace legendary midfielder Andres Iniesta.
Barcelona are set to make a move for Manchester City’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan this summer, as a replacement for club legend Andres Iniesta, as per a report from The Sun.
Iniesta, having spent his entire career at Barcelona, decided to bring down the curtains on his time with the club this summer and has joined Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe. The 34-year-old made 674 appearances for the Catalans during his time at Camp Nou, scoring 57 goals and winning numerous honours with the club, including nine La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League trophy.
Intent on replacing such an important figure within the team, the Blaugrana had been previously linked with Tottenham Hotspur star Christian Eriksen. However, they now have seemed to turned their attention towards German international Gundogan and are keen on making a move for the 27-year-old.
The midfielder joined Manchester City back in the summer of 2016 from Borussia Dortmund in a £20 million deal, as one of the first signings of the Pep Guardiola era at the club. And despite suffering a serious injury setback in his first season with the Mancunian outfit, Gundogan has prospered under the guidance of the former Barcelona manager and played a key role in City’s rampant Premier League triumph this past season.
Gundogan finished the 2017-18 campaign with 48 appearances across all competitions for Manchester City, chipping in with impressive returns of six goals and seven assists in the process.
Currently on international duty with the German national team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the 27-year-old has just two years left on his current contract with Manchester City, which has put Barcelona on alert. The Catalans want to capitalize on the situation and are willing to offer a transfer fee upwards of £50 million in order to land Gundogan this summer.
However, Manchester City are keen to hold on to the former Borussia Dortmund man and have absolutely no intention of selling him. It is understood that the Citizens are set to offer the 26-time capped German international a new contract with improved terms in order to stave off any interest from his suitors.
But, the report goes on to claim that Gundogan, despite being happy at the Etihad Stadium, would be open to considering a move to Camp Nou this summer.
Add to that, the impending arrival of Napoli midfielder Jorginho at Manchester City could mean more competition for a spot in the starting lineup, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Fernandinho and Fabian Delph already in the fray, which might lead him to choosing a transfer to Barcelona.