Barcelona are keeping a close eye on the contract situation of Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, according to a report.
The Germany international is due to become a free agent at the end of the season after entering the final year of his contract with the Premier League champions.
Gundogan has remained an integral part of Pep Guardiola‘s team despite his contract situation, coming up with two goals and one assist in seven Premier League outings this term.
The 31-year-old hinted earlier this year that he would be prepared to sign a new deal at the Etihad, although he also admitted that he was hoping to start more big games for the Citizens.
“We will sit down together in due course and exchange our ideas and plans, and then we will see what comes out of it,” Gundogan told Kicker.
“Football-wise, there is certainly still no better address than Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, and I think that will hardly change in the next few years.
“Of course, I would have liked to play a little longer in one or two important games over the last few months. That’s not a secret. I am a player who always wants to play.”
However, Gundogan will be able to negotiate with foreign clubs from January as things stand, and according to Sport, the midfielder is still a target of Barcelona’s.
If the Catalan giants are unable to prise Bernardo Silva away from the Etihad, it is claimed that they will instead turn their attention to his teammate Gundogan.
Man City are supposedly after a record fee of £89m if they are to part ways with Silva, and Barcelona will only consider a move for Gundogan if a move for the Portugal international falls through.
The report adds that Gundogan is yet to make a decision on his future, but the Premier League champions will entertain offers if it becomes clear that he has no desire to remain at the club.
The former Borussia Dortmund man has come up with 51 goals and 34 assists in 263 outings for Man City since arriving in 2016, winning four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four EFL Cups in that time.
Barcelona reinforced their midfield over the summer with the signing of Franck Kessie as a free agent, while Gavi and Pedri have established themselves as regular starters alongside Sergio Busquets – demoting Frenkie de Jong to a bit-part role.
However, Busquets has also entered the final year of his contract at Camp Nou and is being tipped to leave at the end of the season, which will see Barcelona enter the market for a replacement.
Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi is thought to be Xavi‘s top target to replace Busquets, and the Barcelona lynchpin recently talked up his compatriot’s qualities amid the speculation.