Reports in England this week suggest the 23-year-old Borussia Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan will choose between Real Madrid and Manchester United and whilst United fans may find this choice a little cumbersome, it could end up working in their favour.
In the past Real Madrid have had a stronghold – as they did this summer – over the world’s top talent due to their inclination to spend vast amounts of money to bring them to the Bernabeu.
Their world record purchase of Gareth Bale demonstrates little has changed in the Spanish capital but, on the other hand, the Welshman’s arrival along with Spain youngster Isco from Malaga just a few months ago means it would be ill-advised for Gundogan to join Carlo Ancelotti’s side where the likes of Sami Khedira, Xabi Alonso and, not to mention Cristiano Ronaldo already reside.
The only conceivable reason I can think of for Gundogan to move to Real Madrid this month (ahead of the World Cup this summer which he’ll want to be involved in) is if Xabi Alonso goes out and, incidentally, the former Liverpool favourite was linked with a Bernabeu exit but, since he extended his contract until 2016, those rumours have dissipated, miraculously.
Where does this leave Ilkay Gundogan and, more importantly, where does this leave Manchester United? Gundogan would be competing with at least two world-class players with experience in abundance if he moves to Real Madrid whereas, if he were to consider United, he would likely walk into the starting line-up such is David Moyes’ urgent requirement for a midfielder of his capability.
However, a potential deal could be over before it begins if rumours of interest from Barcelona are to be believed.
According to reports in Spain, Gundogan has already attended several meetings with the La Liga champions. Whilst the prospect of joining the Catalans could prove too good to resist for the midfielder, he would have much the same problem of competition at Camp Nou as he would at the Bernabeu. The Spanish champions already find it hard to work the likes of Cesc Fabregas into the side given the abundance of world-class options.
image: © jansolo09