Ilkay Gundogan was supposed to make his comeback against Standard Liege this weekend. But his recovery must be put on ice for now...
One area Manchester United should be looking to improve in winter, if possible, is the central midfield position.
They tried to bring in the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera in the summer - 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’.
Dortmund admitted that the £25 million rated star could leave soon. Speaking at the start of December, 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."
However his fitness woes are likely to be hindering any potential January switch for his signature.
Gundogan has only played 57 minutes of Bundesliga football this season because of a niggling back injury picked up against Augsburg - and has only recently returned to full training.
But he was earmarked in to return to action yesterday in a friendly match v Standard Liege in La Manga.
Dortmund are in Spain on their winter warm climate break - something that is likely to be the envy of every Premier League player currently running around in the wind and rain.
But despite being expected to take to the field he didn’t - because he has suffered a new injury.
Gundogan missed the game with a foot problem. It is not yet known if the injury is serious but the main problem is how it is affecting his recovery from his back problem.
He was supposed to be undergoing light rehab in Spain - and his foot problem, combined with the dodgy back and did we mention he also has bronchitis, it is tough being Ilkay Gundogan at the moment.
image: © Dirk_Vorderstraße