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Barcelona signs İlkay Gündoğan

Ilkay Gündogan Barcelona
Ilkay Gündogan has agreed to sign with Barcelona on a free transfer (Molly Darlington/Reuters)

Barcelona signs İlkay Gündoğan

German midfielder Ilkay Gündogan has signed with Barcelona on a free transfer, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Gündogan has signed a 2-year deal with the Spanish giants with an option for a third. His contract also includes a €500 million release clause.

Gündogan turned down a contract extension with Manchester City, where he has played for the last seven seasons. City was not able to match Barcelona’s financial offer and was only willing to offer a one-year contract with a possible extension for a second year.

The 32-year-old also turned down interest from Saudi Arabia and Arsenal.

Gündogan joins Barcelona after captaining Manchester City to a historic season. The club won the treble this season, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and the Champions League.

He was integral to Pep Guardiola’s side, scoring 11 goals in his 51 appearances this season. This included a brace against Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

Gündogan’s signing is big news for Barcelona manager Xavi. After missing out on Lionel Messi to Inter Miami, the club immediately set its sights on Gündogan. Xavi was looking for midfield reinforcements that could contribute to Barca’s attack–with Gündogan’s goal-scoring ability and his creativity in the midfield, he certainly fits the bill for Barca.

He will also help relieve the load placed on young midfielders Gavi and Pedri, providing needed depth if these two are injured or fall out of form.

Barca was able to sign Gündogan on a free transfer; with the financial restrictions facing the club, the free transfer market was looking like the most realistic way for the club to secure new signings.

Gündogan is a world-class midfielder with experience in winning league, cup and continental trophies, and getting him on a free transfer is a massive steal for Barcelona.

After losing Gündogan, Manchester City is turning its attention toward Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovačić as his replacement. It will be interesting to see how the loss of their captain will affect City next season and how Gündogan fairs in La Liga.


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