16/03/2022; 5:17 PM By : Steven D. Thompson
With barely two months to the end of the season, preparations for next season have kicked off in earnest. Clubs are already making arrangements, with several players highlighted as transfer targets.
Top of the news is the interest of several clubs in Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. Kylian Mbappe has also been in the news but should join Real Madrid in the summer. One clear thing is that several top clubs want a major shakeup within their ranks. The clubs include Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid.
Atletico Madrid are looking to shake things up in their midfield and have eyes on a couple of players. One of the players they have shown interest in is Manchester City’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
Spanish giants Atletico Madrid on Tuesday knocked out English side Manchester United in the second round of the UEFA Champions League. The Spanish side produced a resolute performance to keep the Mancunian side at bay for 90 minutes to advance to the quarter-finals.
Diego Simeone is looking to fortify the side next season to make a stronger challenge for the titles available to them. The Argentine coach sees German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan as a perfect fit for his side and would pull out all the stops to land the player.
Fichajes reports that Gundogan is in a fix, as his Manchester City contract is approaching its end. The contractual situation of the German has alerted the Madrid side, who want to swoop in for the midfielder in the summer.
Gundogan will have a year left on his contract at the end of the season. He will become a free agent in January 2023 and can negotiate a pre-contract with any club. Manchester City is keen on keeping the German, but talks over a new contract are not progressing as planned.
Gundogan seems to be more valued abroad as interest has come from Spain. The 31-year-old joined the Premier League champions from the German side Borussia Dortmund in 2016 for a fee of €27 million. Gundogan has grown to be a major cog for Pep Guardiola despite their inability to win the Champions League.
Since 2016, Gundogan has made 242 appearances for City, scoring 46 goals and 32 assists. Things haven’t panned out well for Gundogan this season. He has struggled for regular game-time. The German has featured in 15 league for Manchester City and four Champions League games. Gundogan could be interested in testing his strengths elsewhere as he seems to be losing his importance to City.
Barcelona have shown interest in Gundogan but will have to square off with Atletico Madrid for the player’s signature. Atletico won La Liga Santander last season. They have, however, been a shadow of the side that won the league. Atletico currently sits 15 points behind league leaders Real Madrid and fighting for a Champions League place next season.
The Rojiblancos board are keen to reinforce the squad and have earmarked Gundogan as a fit for the club.