Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachin Watzke has insisted that the club want to extend Ilkay Gundogan’s contract but has softened his stance on a potential departure by admitting his sale could be seen as an opportunity.
The 23-year-old has been strongly linked with a move to United and up until this point, Dortmund have only reiterated their desire to get Gundogan’s contract extended but in reference to previous departures, Watzke believes Dortmund could cope if Gundogan left.
“Of course you’re always trying to keep your top players, this is completely normal and we want to extend Ilkay’s contract,” he said according to Goal.com.
“But you also have to see a sale as an opportunity.
“In 2011, we lost Nuri Sahin, who was the Bundesliga player of the year and we recovered.
“Ideally, we manage it so that only one top player goes again this year, namely Robert Lewandowski.”
A lot of Dortmund’s best players have left through release clauses being met and offers being accepted, and the fact they are now even entertaining the idea that a Gundogan sale could be seen in a positive light suggests they are at least thinking about his potential departure.
Gundogan was always considered a perfect midfielder for what United needed and Dortmund’s change in stance certainly makes any potential sale more feasible.
However, from a United perspective, rumblings have started suggesting that there are fears over Gundogan because of the long-term effect of his back injury problems. Could Gundogan be another Owen Hargreaves?