Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan has reached mutual grounds to join Barcelona according to PA news agency.
The Germany international seemed unlikely to renew terms with the European Champions as he runs out of contract this summer.
The treble winners had reluctantly offered the 32-year-old a new one-year contract with the option for another 12 months but the Spanish giants were quick to pursue ‘Le Capitano’ with a more lucrative offer of a three-year deal sealed with a finger-licking financial package.
During his successful seven-year stint at Etihad, Gundogan played a pivotal role in securing numerous accolades, including five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, and the prestigious Champions League title. Just this year, Gundogan celebrated three trophy victories as City became only the second English club to achieve the treble.
Although the club had expressed their desire to retain Gundogan’s services, they ultimately decided against matching Barcelona’s lucrative offer due to his age. This decision was made with a practical approach in mind.
City is now busy peddling for Mateo Kovacic’s signature with an official announcement expected to be made soon.
The player’s versatility and experience is seen as crucial in filling the void left by the departure of Ilkay Gundogan.
Kovacic is believed to be a valuable addition to City’s squad, having already clinched the Champions League title four times. He played a crucial part in Chelsea’s triumphant campaign in 2021 and tasted success on three occasions while representing Real Madrid. Earlier in his career, Kovacic also had a spell with Inter Milan.
The impending arrival of Kovacic is set to bolster City’s midfield and contribute to their ongoing pursuit of success.
City is said to have successfully settled for a £30million deal to sign the 29-year-old Croatian midfielder with an initial £25million and a further £5m to follow in potential add-ons.
Kovacic, who joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2018, is entering the final year of his contract and is among the many stars exiting Stamford Bridge.