Borussia Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan is the subject of interest from a number of Europe’s elite clubs as we head towards the January transfer window.
The 23-year-old German midfielder has been linked with a number of moves following his superb performances for the German giants so far this term, with rumours emerging that the like of Manchester United, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona could all be in the mix.
With his contract entering its final year next summer, Borussia Dortmund may reluctantly feel letting him go is the better option than losing him on a free transfer, especially if his destination of choice lies away from the Bundesliga.
Reports this week suggest Gundogan may well be bound for La Liga where Barcelona are reported to have already opened negotiations with the player and his representatives as Dortmund also conceded they may be powerless to stop his departure.
Whilst a move to Barcelona would likely suit the player, it would be a disappointment for English champions Manchester United and current leaders Arsenal who are both understood to be admirers of the €30m-rated German international.
However, should Gundogan dismiss offers to move to the Premier League and opt instead to join the Spanish champions, there could be a very big silver lining for the Gunners and the Red Devils – a certain former Arsenal captain and well-documented United target this summer may be man to make way for the new arrival.
As we saw this summer with the arrival of Mesut Ozil at the Emirates, increased competition for places at top teams – especially with the World Cup just around the corner – often leaves top players with little choice but to leave in search of guaranteed first-team football.
Cesc Fabregas could very well find himself with a similar dilemma to Ozil following the arrival Gareth Bale (and Isco) at the Bernabeu.
If Gundogan moves to Barcelona to directly compete for the same position as Fabregas alongside the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, and Sergio Busquets in defensive, central and attacking midfield positions, Fabregas would likely be advised to move away from his boyhood club in search of opportunity as he did as the 16-year-old who signed for Arsenal.
Whilst the Gunners and Red Devils may ‘lose out’ on signing Gundogan with the temptation of Barcelona likely too much to resist, the availability of Fabregas would be more than compensatory as the North Londoners still have first right of refusal and Manchester United still require a world-class playmaker to aid them in their ambitions this season.
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