Ilkay Gundogan has insisted that ongoing contract negotiations with Borussia Dortmund remain his priority amid continuing delays surrounding an extension.
The 23-year-old’s talks with Dortmund have stalled due to Gundogan’s long term injury and he has since been linked with a move to Manchester United who are in search of a midfield signing.
But when asked by reporters about the current status of his contract extension, Gundogan admitted that discussions with Dortmund remain his priority.
“Dortmund is my first point of contact,” he said.
Gundogan is considered by many as the perfect midfielder for United’s ailing midfield given his box-to-box style of play but a long term injury has curtailed his season, something which he has found very difficult to cope with.
“Immediately after the Paraguay game was the worst because I found it hard to move at all. Both sitting and standing was very, very problematic,” he told DFB.de.
“Nowadays there’s a slight pull but I’ll be glad if I’m fit after three months. So far, the irritation of a nerve happens to be a lengthy history. It will probably take a short period. I have set no target for my return but right now, things are developing very positively.
“I am a very, very impatient person and during such periods I am not conducive. I could only watch the last three months which is painful. That feels downright painful.
“But I’ll guarantee not to play again until I am completely fit and stable stand on the pitch. Is most important that the injury is completely healed. Only then can I come back even stronger.”
Earlier this week, Dortmund’s sport manager Michael Zorc told Kickr that discussions had hit a deadlock but that the club were looking to resolve the delays as soon as they can.
“Due to the lengthy injury of course, a certain deadlock in the talks occurred. We will take up the issue quickly,” he said.
And his father Irfan Gundogan intimated that a contract extension with Dortmund was definitely possible despite the delays due to his injury.
“As is known, we have had discussions about a contract extension put on hold in order not to burden Ilkay during his injury.”
“Of course it is also possible that the contract in Dortmund will be extended.”
With so much up in the air, Gundogan’s future with Dortmund is far from resolved. Long delays have allowed speculation to build and while a move by David Moyes in January would be extremely unlikely, if he was to play his hand and show an interest it would at least cause shockwaves in the Gundogan camp – and the fact he was very good friends with Shinji Kagawa could be a very powerful pulling tool.