Manchester City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain could be heading for a disaster as Barcelona eye up a swoop for Ilkay Gundogan.
What’s the talk?
According to Spanish outlet Sport, Ilkay Gundogan is a target for Barcelona heading into the summer transfer window as Ronald Koeman looks to improve his squad. The report claims that Barcelona have a good relationship with Manchester City and that the Premier League side could be open to cashing in on both Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus should the right deals arrive in the coming months.
Barcelona have already added two players from City to their ranks. Sergio Aguero has agreed to join the Spanish giants upon the expiry of his Manchester City contract at the end of the month, as has Eric Garcia and Koeman is now looking to reunite the pair with Gundogan at the Camp Nou.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola lauded Gundogan as one of the most “intelligent” players he has ever worked with in his career. He told GOAL:
“He’s always had a sense of [where the] goal [is], playing for [Borussia] Dortmund.
“He’s an incredibly nice guy. He’s one of the… I will never forget the time we spent together. As a player he is one of the most intelligent, wisest players I have ever trained, I have ever seen.
“This season, every time he has arrived near the goal, he has scored the goal, he has this quality but not just that. I’m so delighted with the performance from Ilkay again and from all of the team.”
Heading for a disaster
Begiristain is heading for a disaster if he even considers selling Gundogan to Barcelona this summer. The report states that City could open the door to Barcelona to sign Gundogan, but they should be slamming that door shut, locking it and throwing away the key. City should not even be entertaining the possibility of Gundogan leaving The Etihad in the coming months and should be telling Barcelona to look elsewhere for midfield recruits.
Gundogan is a crucial player in City’s team as he elevated himself to a new level during the 2020/21 campaign. The midfielder was City’s top scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals, seven more than any of the tallies he managed in his first four seasons with the club. Given that Aguero is already leaving the club at the end of the month, Guardiola cannot afford to lose another of his biggest contributors in terms of goals and that is why Gundogan needs to remain at the club.
The £140k-per-week German ace averaged a WhoScored rating of 7.29 in the Premier League. Only Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez and Kevin de Bruyne averaged higher scores than Gundogan, again highlighting his importance to Guardiola and City.
This emphasises the point that City should not be, in any way shape or form, open to allowing Barcelona to sign Gundogan this summer and, instead, they should be doing all they can to keep him ahead of next season.
AND in other news, Man City dealt huge transfer blow with £90m-rated beast, Pep dubbed him “world class”…