Reports suggest that Xavi is pushing for Barcelona to sign Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer this summer. The Manchester City midfielder is out of contract with the Premier League champions at the end of the season and has yet to reach an agreement over a new deal. While Pep Guardiola has made it clear that he wants Gundogan to remain at City and has praised him as the “best midfielder we have this season”, Barcelona are said to be pushing hard to sign him. The Athletic reports that Xavi has made a “special request” to Barca’s hierarchy for Gundogan’s arrival.
However, La Liga president Javier Tebas has already warned Barcelona that they must cut their wage bill in order to be able to sign new players this summer. “We have strict economic controls. At the end of each window, we tell all the clubs in LaLiga what they can spend,” Tebas said earlier this month. “In the case of Barcelona, they have to drop from spending on wages and transfers from €650m to €450m – so it’s a budget of minus €200m. They have to reduce their investment in players and we have encouraged them to sell players because for every amount they raise in sales they can spend 40 per cent of that.”
Gundogan has been a key player for Manchester City this season, scoring 16 goals in all competitions and helping them to win the Premier League title. He has also been linked with a move to Bayern Munich, where he would be reunited with former boss Guardiola. However, it seems that Barcelona are now leading the race for his signature.
Xavi is driving Barcelona’s push to sign Gundogan this summer, and it is thought that he sees him as the ideal replacement for Sergio Busquets, who is now 32 and has been linked with a move away from the Nou Camp. Gundogan would bring experience and quality to Barcelona’s midfield, and his ability to score goals from midfield would be a major asset.
It remains to be seen whether Barcelona will be able to afford Gundogan’s wages, given the financial constraints they are currently operating under. However, if they can find a way to make the deal happen, it would be a major coup for the Catalan giants. Gundogan is one of the best midfielders in Europe and would be a valuable addition to any team.
For Manchester City, losing Gundogan would be a blow, but they have plenty of quality options in midfield and would be able to cope without him. Guardiola will be hoping that the German international decides to stay at the Etihad, but he will also be aware that he may have to look for a replacement if he does leave.
Overall, it looks like Gundogan’s future is up in the air at the moment, and it will be interesting to see where he ends up next season. If Barcelona can find a way to sign him, it would be a major statement of intent from the club and would give them a real boost ahead of the new campaign. However, they will need to act quickly if they want to beat Bayern Munich and other potential suitors to his signature.