Mixed news from Germany concerning United’s reported Gundogan pursuit

Manchester United appear to have one less rival in the race for Ilkay Gundogan, but Borussia Dortmund may have a new reason to keep hold of him.

Borussia Dortmund have a lot of good players. In fact, they have a lot of great players. So it is something of a surprise that they are struggling in this year’s Bundesliga. Or is it?

The resurgence of Bayern Munich has seen them go from simply dominating Germany’s top flight to tearing it apart.

With only four dropped points all season, Pep Guardiola’s side are currently 19 points clear at the top of the table, and 20 clear of Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund.

Bayern have also scored 61 goals and conceded just nine.

And it could get worse for Dortmund, with reports at the weekend suggesting Manchester United were in the box-seat to sign Ilkay Gundogan this summer.

So it is both a surprise and a welcome dose of common sense to read Sport Bild’s report that Bayern have pledged not to sign any more players from Klopp’s side.

It could be argued it is a little late for that, with the arrival of Mario Gotze to be followed by that of Robert Lewandowski at the end of the current campaign, but it also suggests Dortmund may be able to stop strengthening rivals who have grown considerably since Klopp last held the Bundesliga title aloft.

The report claims Bayern’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness are concerned by how far Dortmund have fallen this season, and have pledged to shop elsewhere in the future.

So the good news in United’s apparent pursuit of Gundogan is that Bayern appear unlikely to make a move for him, or for another reported United target Marco Reus (who recently said he had no inclination to join Guardiola’s side anyway).

But the bad news is that if Dortmund are hoping to be stronger next season and beyond; if the future of a healthy Bundesliga depends – at least in part – on that being the case, Klopp may keep hold of all his current players for the battles ahead.

image: © Dirk_Vorderstraße

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