Long-term Manchester United target speaks about Kagawa's Dortmund return

Ilkay Gundogan warming up for Germany

Ilkay Gundogan has expressed his joy at Shinji Kagawa's return to Borussia Dortmund and his own injury comeback.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan over the past 24 months.

In April the German international has signed a contract extension until 2016 with the club - ensuring that for now he will remain a Borussia Dortmund player - despite admitting in the past his ‘dream’ of playing for United.

But no matter how interested they were in his signature it has not recently been on the cards - as Gundogan’s season has been blighted by persistent injury problems.

He picked up a back injury in the opening game of the 2013-14 season against FC Augsburg - meaning he only played 57 minutes of football last term.

A January comeback for the player failed to materialise after another nerve problem in his back and his season was over soon after. Gundogan has also struggled to maintain his fitness with a lack of exercise caused by the back pain.

He underwent back surgery this summer, which some dubbed career saving, and it seems to have done the trick.

He is now set to return to action shortly and will soon be back playing regular football for Dortmund. When he does so he will be reunited with a former team-mate with whom he had an excellent relationship with prior to his exit. Shinji Kagawa returned to Borussia Dortmund from United this summer after two seasons away from the club.

And Gundogan has spoken about how pleased he is with Kagawa's return to Signal Iduna Park.

He told Bild:

"He [Kagawa] fits into our team very well. We have a great midfield."

Meanwhile Gundogan has also made it clear he plans on coming back and playing the same high velocity football he always did before his injury problems struck.

He said of his impending comeback:

I don't feel fear at all. I tackle the normal way and don't take it easy. If I can keep my pace and there aren't any setbacks, I am sure that I can be better than before my injury. I'm sure that I have not forgotten anything."

If that does prove to be the case it will not be long before United try to separate him and Kagawa once again.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch