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Barcelona ‘drop interest in Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan’

Barcelona ‘drop interest in Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan’

Barcelona have reportedly dropped their interest in signing Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.

The Germany international is yet to put pen to paper on a new contract with the Citizens and could leave on a free transfer at the end of the current season.

With Gundogan’s current deal up in the summer, he will be able to open talks with foreign clubs over a pre-contract agreement from January onwards.

Barcelona have long been linked with a move for the 31-year-old as a possible replacement for either Sergio Busquets or Frenkie de Jong, and La Blaugrana were believed to have been readying a January approach.

However, Sport now states that the Catalan giants are no longer pursuing a move for the former Borussia Dortmund lynchpin, even though Xavi was intrigued by the possibility of using him as a number six.

Ilkay Gundogan in action for Germany on September 26, 2022© Reuters

Xavi supposedly believed that Gundogan’s technical qualities would allow him to seamlessly slot into the Busquets role, but Barcelona have ruled out a move due to the midfielder’s age.

Gundogan will turn 33 next year, but he is still an integral player for Pep Guardiola at Man City, and the Premier League champions are reportedly ready to hand him a new one-year deal.

The outlet adds that Man City would not have stood in Gundogan’s way if Barcelona did make an approach in January, but there is now a good chance that he will extend his contract with the Etihad giants.

Real Madrid are also said to have passed up on the opportunity to sign Gundogan, who has also been linked with a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray as a free agent.

The Germany international followed Guardiola to Man City in the summer of 2016, and he has recorded 51 goals and 35 assists in 274 games for the English champions over the past six years.

Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring for Manchester City on August 13, 2022© Reuters

Gundogan – who now wears the captain’s armband for Man City – has recorded two goals and two assists from 21 outings this term, but he could not prevent Germany from suffering a group-stage elimination at the World Cup.

Barcelona’s long-serving number six Busquets is also set to become a free agent in just over six months time, and his future remains up in the air amid links with a move to MLS.

The Catalan giants are apparently considering a new six-month deal for the ex-Spain international, which would see him remain at Camp Nou until the end of 2023.

Meanwhile, De Jong was the subject of interest from Manchester United all summer long, and it was recently claimed that the Netherlands international told Erik ten Hag that he would be open to a move to Old Trafford.

However, De Jong has frequently announced his desire to remain at Barcelona and shot down reports claiming that he would consider a move to Man United earlier this week.

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