Juan Mata’s proposed move to Barcelona is likely to impact the uncertainty surrounding Ilkay Gundogan’s immediate future at City. Germany midfielder Gundogan was high on a shortlist of targets for the Catalan giants, with the 28-year-old out of contract next year.
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Officials at the Nou Camp, however, have opened negotiations with Manchester United playmaker Mata, with an announcement expected in the coming days confirming he will be joining them on a free transfer this summer. It is understood Barca had been courting Gundogan for over 12 months and were previously beaten to his signature when Pep Guardiola made him his first signing for City back in 2016.
The former Borussia Dortmund man has been weighing up his options on the offer of a new Citizens deal, with his manager making it clear he wants him to remain an integral part of his squad.
It is believed Barcelona’s move on Mata could now hasten Gundogan’s own decision-making process and will let City know exactly where they stand. Club bosses are desperate to retain him but will put the schemer up for sale in the next couple of months if they fail to reach an agreement over a contract extension.