Ilkay Gundogan could wrap up a £21.5million summer move to Manchester United as early as this weekend, according to reports.
The German international is widely regarded to be one of the most promising midfield players in Europe, although he played no part in his country’s World Cup success in Brazil due to a back injury which ruled him out for a year. He has since recovered from this problem, and has gone on to play 27 times in all competition this season having made his comeback in October.
Gundogan will be into the final 12 months of his contract at the end of the current campaign, and Borussia Dortmund are prepared to sell rather than risk a repeat of the Robert Lewandowski affair, when the Pole left for Bayern Munich on a free transfer. A number of clubs would love to take the 24-year-old, but it looks inevitable that he will wind up at Old Trafford.
Widespread reports, initially beginning with Der Westen, claim United have agreed a £21.5million fee for Gundogan, who would even finalise his move to the Premier League giants this weekend. In doing so, he would become the first German player to represent the Manchester club, who previously had goalkeeper Ron Robert Zieler on their books but didn’t use him.
Gundogan is known for his ability to pick out a pass, and also for his tenacious tackling ability. Formerly of Nurnberg, the nine-time international helped Dortmund to the league and cup double in 2012, and scored in the UEFA Champions League final the following year although this proved to be a consolation goal as Bayern won the all-German contest 2-1 at Wembley stadium.
His departure, whilst inevitable, will be the second blow in a short space of time for Dortmund, who will lose head coach Jurgen Klopp at the end of the current campaign. The 47-year-old announced earlier this month that he will leave the club in the coming summer, and they have acted swiftly by arranging a deal to appoint former Mainz boss Thomas Tuchel as his successor.
As for United, they are also hoping to wrap up the signing of Memphis Depay in the very near future. The Holland international, who played under Reds boss Louis van Gaal at the World Cup Finals, has enjoyed a sensational season as he has top scored in the Eredivisie whilst helping PSV Eindhoven to the title, is expected to head to Old Trafford in a £25million transfer.
Is Ilkay Gundogan the midfield player Louis van Gaal is crying out for at Manchester United, or does his injury past make him something of a gamble for the Reds?