One area Manchester United desperately need to improve in the winter window, if possible, is the central midfield position.
They tried to bring in the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera to no avail - and another name linked was Ilkay Gundogan.
The German international was pivotal in Borussia Dortmund’s incredible 2012-13 season and was reportedly a player United were keen on. Gundogan himself has admitted in the past that United were his ‘dream club’ but it seems he might be going elsewhere.
Dortmund admitted that the £25 million rated star could leave soon. Speaking at the start of this month, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke confessed he was unsure whether he would be staying at Signal Iduna Park:
"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 with him."
And now it has been confirmed by the player’s agent that Real are in touch over a transfer.
Much like Mesut Ozil in the past, Gundogan’s agent also happens to be his old man - and here is what Irfan Gundogan has had to say about his son’s future:
“The interest from Madrid is intense. They want to bid for my son.”
Not good news as far as United are concerned then - because as we know, what Real Madrid want they usually get.
But the only plus side is that it seems no deal will happen soon - indeed a January deal looks off the cards:
“But at the moment, we can’t do anything until his back injury has gone. When he’s back playing regularly, then maybe we will talk.”
Gundogan has only played 57 minutes of Bundesliga football this season because of a nasty back injury picked up against Augsburg - and has only recently returned to full training.
With that in mind a move in January seems unlikely - so United have six months or so to get in touch with Irfan.
image: © Dirk_Vorderstraße