Sportsmail recently reported that Manchester City have given midfielder Ilkay Gundogan the freedom to leave the club as he approaches the final year of his contract.
Gundogan joined the Premier League giants in 2016 from German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund as Pep Guardiola’s first signing after his appointment as manager. After six years, he is set for an exit as his contract approaches its end.
It is understood that the club want to extend his contract beyond 2023 when it expires, but they have also opened the door for him to talk to other clubs.
Gundogan, who is expected to be a regular starter in the team given how long he has been there, has only been involved in 20 Premier League games out of 37 so far. In a past interview, the German international noted that while Guardiola is one of the best managers around, it is hard playing under him because of his constant tweaking.
City are planning a rebuild after the signing of two young strikers Julian Alvarez from River Plate and Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. Given the number of younger options from City’s academy struggling for a midfield shirt as well as their progress with a few younger signings, it is understandable why the club opened the doors for Gundogan to leave if he wishes.
Gundogan signed for City in 2016 for £21 million. His first season at the club did not go so well as he only got involved in 10 Premier League games, where he recorded three goals and three assists.
Gundogan would go on to reinforce himself as a starter in the highly competitive Man City team the next season as he got involved in 30 games and scored four goals.
That same year, he was quite influential in how far the five time Premier League champions went in the Champions League as he made nine appearances and scored two goals.
As the years went by, Gundogan became a senior figure in the team, averaging 30 Premier League appearances every season.
His best season was the 2020/2021 season where he got involved in 28 Premier League games and scored 13 goals, helping Manchester City to win their third fifth title.
This current season is his recorded lowest number of appearances since 2018/19 which could be attributed to the myriad of options in the role.
Recent reports from England torchlight on the possibility of Real Madrid being the midfielder’s destination after he was spotted a few days ago on a private flight to Spain.
This speculation is not unfounded considering the fact that the 13-time UEFA Champions League winners had been linked to the German midfielder while he was with Dortmund.
So far, there have been no comments from his camp on the links to Madrid or his potential exit from City.