Dortmund's 'replacement' for Gundogan opens door for Manchester United summer move

Ilkay Gundogan warming up for Germany

Jurgen Klopp has already begun his planning for Ilkay Gundogan's potential departure from Borussia Dortmund.

German clubs do not traditionally do much business around Deadline Day, so Borussia Dortmund's signing yesterday came as a little of a surprise.

The Germans clinched a deal for Serbian starlet Milos Jojic of Partizan Belgrade, paying a bargain price of £2 million.

Jojic is a senior international at 21, and was recently voted the Serbian Player of the Year. Quite a coup for Dortmund, have they just 'unearthed' another gem?

Jojic's arrival is not just the signing of a talented player, it's part of a strategy by Jurgen Klopp, as he seeks to cover himself in light of Ilkay Gundogan's impending departure.

The German international, who has missed most of the season through injury and illness, is highly coveted after his role helping the side to the Champions League final last season - with Manchester United, Barcelona, and Real Madrid all interested.

When he does move on, Dortmund will be better placed to cope thanks to Jojic's arrival - with the two midfielders highly similar.

Dortmund writer Stefan Buczsko told ESPN: "With the acquisition of Milos Jojic, Dortmund now have further insurance in case of more setbacks for Gundogan.

"like Gündogan, Jojic's main attributes are the short passes that speed up play and his great pressing resistance; the Serb has quick feet on the ball and can turn on the spot with ease. With the long absence of Gundogan, the side has been missing a man capable of linking defense with offense."

Gundogan's extended absence has meant Dortmund can afford to wait for him no more, and moving for Jojic could be an inspired piece of business.

When the German does eventually return to fitness, it's increasingly likely he will not be staying around, but instead playing to impress potential suitors that he is worthy of the high fee Dortmund will demand for his services.

If he can do that, the door will likely be open, with Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke telling the media this week they could cope without him, and Gundogan's sale will be an 'opportunity'.

image: © Michael Kranewitter

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