Transfer Talk: Gundogan leaving Man City for Barcelona picking up steam
The January transfer window is closed around Europe, but teams are looking ahead to the summer and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Xavi wants Gundogan at Barcelona
Barcelona are increasingly interested in midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, with manager Xavi Hernandez making a special request to the club’s hierarchy in order to sign the Manchester City captain, as per The Athletic.
The Germany international sees his current contract expire at the end of the season, and he looks unlikely to extend his stay despite Pep Guardiola’s desire to keep the playmaker. The report reveals that individuals involved in negotiations over Gundogan’s future believe that a move to LaLiga is likely.
Gundogan joined the Premier League champions in 2016 and has made 290 appearances for the club, contributing to four domestic titles, four Carabao Cup triumphs and one FA Cup. While City are reluctant for the German to leave, it is thought the club will be targeting midfield reinforcements in the summer, with Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham heavily linked to a move to the Etihad.
It is believed that Barcelona will have to cut their wage bill by €200 million to ensure they comply with LaLiga’s Financial Fair Play rules, however, the chance to sign Gundogan is seemingly an offer too good to turn down.
The 32-year-old would add much-needed experience to a young Barcelona side that will be aiming to become a force in Europe once again, following a period of general failure in the European competitions.
– Barcelona are not interested in joining a bidding war for Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan N’Dicka amid Paris Saint-Germain interest, as per Sport. The France defender’s current deal expires at the end of the season, however, Barcelona are reluctant to join the race for N’Dicka’s signature, with their current financial woes contributing to this. The report reveals that clubs in England and Italy also have the 23-year-old on their radar.
– Newcastle United, West Ham United and Everton are monitoring the situation of forward Folarin Balogun, according to Ekrem Konur. The 21-year-old has impressed on loan at Stade Reims, scoring 18 goals in all competitions, however, his situation at parent club Arsenal remains uncertain. With Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah likely above Balogun in the pecking order, the Hale End graduate could be tempted to depart in the summer to secure first-team football. Balogun’s international future also looks unclear, with United States national team interim coach Anthony Hudson confirming that talks with the striker have been held regarding switching his international allegiance from England.
– Arsenal are in pole position to sign midfielder Declan Rice this summer, as per Football Insider. The report reveals that whilst there is competition from rivals Chelsea for the England international, Arsenal lead the race for the 24-year-old. Rice has rejected several new contract offers from West Ham, who may decide the summer is the correct time to cash in on the playmaker, with his deal expiring within the next 12 months.
– Forward Victor Boniface is attracting the attention of AC Milan, report Calciomercato. The striker has netted 19 goals in all competitions for Union Saint-Gilloise, with the report revealing that Boniface’s transfer would cost roughly €10m. Milan are thought to be in the market for a striker to play second fiddle to Olivier Giroud next season, and Boniface has been earmarked as the ideal suitor.
– Juventus are interested in signing West Ham forward Gianluca Scamacca, according to Football Insider. The report states the 24-year-old is likely to depart the club if the Hammers do not avoid relegation, with several clubs in Italy interested. The Italian joined the Premier League outfit last summer from Sassuolo, and has netted eight goals this season, but with West Ham currently occupying a relegation spot, they could lose the forward in the summer.