Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed the club have not yet given up trying to tie midfielder Ilkay Gundogan down to a new contract.
Gundogan’s current deal expires at the end of the month and he has been lined up by Barcelona for a free transfer, with the Spanish side confident they will be able to land the 32-year-old’s signature this summer.
Losing Gundogan, the current City captain, would be an obvious blow to the Premier League captaints. He added further proof to his value to the team with two long-range goals in Saturday’s FA Cup final victory, taking his tally for the season to 11 goals and seven assists in all competitions.
After the game at Wembley, Guardiola refused to accept defeat in his attempts to keep Gundogan.
“He knows what I think,” Guardiola said. “Txiki [Begiristain, football director] is working on it. Hopefully he can be successful.”
Gundogan also took the opportunity to speak out after the game, stressing his love for City but refusing to make any commitments.
“I feel very appreciated at the club,” Gundogan told beIN Sports. “I have never been at a football club for seven years.
“So, I think that shows how much I love this team, the manager and I love this club. We will see what’s going to happen.”
Guardiola has never hidden his desire to retain Gundogan, but talks over an extension with City have so far proven fruitless and Barcelona are determined to take advantage of the situation with a bargain move for one of the world’s most in-form midfielders.
before pushing ahead with any moves.