……….Gundogan has been a key figure for Manchester City under the guidance of Pep Guardiola since his arrival in 2016.
By Ogaga Ukuyoma
Barcelona announced on Monday that Ilkay Gundogan has joined the club on a free transfer after the expiration of his Manchester City contract. The 32-year-old German midfielder has agreed to a two-year contract with the option for a one-year extension, and his release clause has been set at 400 million euros ($436 million).
In a statement, Barcelona praised Gundogan’s qualities, including his presence, goal-scoring ability, and his exceptional reading of the game, which have established him as one of the top midfielders of the past decade.
Gundogan has been a key figure for Manchester City under the guidance of Pep Guardiola since his arrival in 2016. He even captained the team to an impressive treble this season, including a notable victory in the FA Cup final against Manchester United where he scored two goals. Guardiola had expressed the club’s intention to extend Gundogan’s contract.
Meanwhile, Manchester City is on the verge of finalizing the signing of Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea as a potential replacement for Gundogan. The German midfielder, who secured five Premier League titles during his tenure with Manchester City, also played a crucial role in the team’s historic triumph in the Champions League this season.
“This club made me realise all my dreams and I will forever be thankful for this opportunity,” Gundogan told Manchester City’s club website.
“I will carry City always in my heart. Once a blue, always a blue.”
After Pep Guardiola’s arrival at City, Ilkay Gundogan became his initial signing for a fee of approximately 20 million pounds ($25 million).
Prior to his move to City, Gundogan played for Borussia Dortmund, where he achieved success by winning the Bundesliga and the German Cup in 2012.
During his time at the club, Gundogan showcased his scoring abilities by netting 60 goals in a total of 304 appearances. His contributions helped City secure victory in 12 major tournaments, accumulating an impressive collection of trophies.