Ilkay Gundogan being linked with a move to Manchester United feels like a blast from the past but the rumours have resurfaced following an article in Germany from Der Westen.
The German outlet reports Gundogan doesn’t want to renew his Borussia Dortmund contract and Man United is strongly considered to be the club he wants to join.
Dortmund’s poor performances, combined with Jurgen Klopp’s surprise resignation following the conclusion of this Bundesliga season, are indicative of their fall from grace. It was only a few years ago that Dortmund had secured back to back Bundesliga titles.
As Gundogan’s contract expires next summer, this is the last year which Dortmund can then command a fee and having lost Robert Lewandowski on a free transfer to Bayern Munich, the German side are highly unlikely to let that situation repeat itself. This, of course, points towards a summer exit for the midfielder.
Prior to his injury woes, Gundogan was widely considered one of the best box-to-box midfielders in world football but there are questions over whether he will ever be able to re-find that form, which adds an element of risk to any potential buyer.
For United, a player of Gundogan’s ilk is certainly needed. Louis van Gaal is keen to buy a defensive minded midfielder who has the tenacity to defend where necessary but the ability to break forward as well. Gundogan in his pomp played that role perfectly.
We spoke to a German national about the reports to find out more on the story and he insisted Der Westen was not a newspaper who made claims like this without reason, so there may well be another Gundogan saga creeping into this summer transfer window.