Borussia Dortmund are still hopeful Ilkay Gundogan will sign a contract extension but have already been looking at his potential successor, according to Suddeutsche Zeitung.
Despite reports in the last few days suggesting a £21.5m deal with Manchester United for Gundogan was close to being agreed, the German club have completely denied anything of the sort is close to happening.
Dortmund’s CEO says there has not been any talks at all with Man United over a potential deal and writing for Suddeutsche Zeitung, Freddie Rockenhaus suggests Bayern Munich and Juventus are exploring whether to make a move for the 24-year-old and says Dortmund wouldn’t mind selling to bitter rivals Bayern if the fee was right.
Extra competition for Gundogan’s signature would almost certainly drive up his price which would be what Dortmund want but it wouldn’t be good for United, especially as Bayern could prove to be a big temptation for the German midfielder to remain in his native country.
If Gundogan did move to Bayern, he would be the latest in a string of players to transfer between the clubs including Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels.
Could the Gundogan stories this week be nothing more than an example of agent driven stories being leaked to the press in order to put pressure on a club to reward their client with a more lucrative contract?
You only have to look back to last summer with Bayern’s Dante as an example of when that has happened to Man United in the past, so that possibility can’t be ruled out at this stage.
Although Gundogan to United was reported as an almost done deal less than 48 hours ago, it is not quite at that stage just yet and the story is continuing to develop quickly.