Gundogan

Atletico Madrid have joined the race to tempt Ilkay Gundogan away from Manchester City on a free transfer this summer.

The 31-year-old has been a key feature for Pep Guardiola’s City in recent years, but has less than a year remaining on his contract at the Etihad Stadium.

The German midfielder was named club captain in the summer after the departure of Brazilian Fernandinho and remains a regular, having played 17 times in all competitions so far this season.

Atletico are keeping a close eye on the situation surrounding Gundogan with a free transfer catching their interest, given they’ve already been dumped out of this season’s Champions League, according to The Sun.

The deal would make sense for Diego Simeone’s side given the fact they could be out of Europe’s elite competition, therefore having to spend more wisely in the summer to refresh their under-performing squad.

It is also believed that Bayern Munich and his boyhood club Galatasaray have expressed an interest in his services.

Gundogan was Pep Guardiola’s first signing as City manager, joining the club in 2016 for £20million from Borussia Dortmund, and has scored 51 goals for the side in 267 appearances in total.

He has won four Premier League titles during his six years in Manchester, as well as four League Cups and an FA Cup.

City and Gundogan have both not ruled out a contract extension, but an agreement has yet to be reached.

Gundogan played it coy when asked about his contract back in April: ‘I’m not worried about that at the moment.

‘I still have a contract in Manchester until 2023, I’m very happy there, both in sporting and private terms, and I can theoretically imagine ending my career with City.’

If Gundogan was to leave it would leave City needing to bring in another option in midfield to keep the competition in the squad healthy.

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