Barcelona are eyeing up a move for Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan, who is out of contract this summer, in a bid to further strengthen their squad on the cheap.
The Spanish outfit have become synonymous with free transfers due to their recent economic issues, adding all of Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Marcos Alonso and Hector Bellerin last summer without paying a transfer fee.
It is something that they will continue to do, sporting director Matheu Alemany confirmed earlier in the season, claiming that: “Increasingly we have to focus on the market of players who are free. This year we have done it with Kessie, Christensen, Marcos Alonso and Bellerín, and there are many more to come.”
Now, as per the Telegraph, Ilkay Gundogan is next on their list, with the German midfielder yet to extend his contract with the Premier League champions and seemingly increasingly likely to move on. Arsenal are also thought to be interested in the 32-year-old should he become a free agent.
And the player himself, who scored the title-winning goal last season, is in no rush to decide his future.
“I’m pretty relaxed about it,” he said when asked about the fact that his contract was up in June. “While it doesn’t sound like much anymore, the summer of 2023 still feels so far away. I’m not overly concerned about it at the moment.”
He was also quick to stress how happy he was at the Etihad, which he has called home for eight years.
“I feel very comfortable in Manchester and am very happy. I have a lot to thank the club for and I’ve experienced a lot of great moments. I can imagine hanging around for a few more years.”
Gundogan is able to talk to the Catalan giants about a pre-contract agreement, which could see him leave for free this summer. For now, however, he appears to be keeping his options open.