Borussia Dortmund evidently thought midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was done at the Westfalenstadion in April, releasing a statement to that effect after the 24-year-old refused to sign a new contract.
Things seems to have changed since new boss Thomas Tuchel stepped into the huge moccasins left behind by Jurgen Klopp, and the latest news is that Gundogan could sign a new deal after all, extending his stay at Die Schwarzgelben beyond the duration of his current contract, which runs out next summer.
The former Nurnberg maestro, who started his career as a number ten but has moved back to defensive midfield over the past few seasons, is 5/2 with bwin to be a Manchester United player by the time the summer transfer window closes, with Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Real Madrid also priced up as possible destinations.
However, getting on the 8/11 about Gundogan staying put looks the correct call at present even if, as still seems unlikely, Tuchel persuades him to sign a contract extension.
Gundogan’s agent (and uncle) has refused to rule out a move to Bayern Munich for his nephew, which would reopen the wound between the two Bundesliga powerhouses following Mario Gotze’s and Robert Lewandowski’s Allianz Arena switches over the past two summers.
Such a move seems impossible while Gundogan is under contract at Dortmund, after the club’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke was quoted by the BBC saying “Bayern Munich want to destroy us” following Lewandowski’s free transfer.
Agent Gundogan insists such a turn of events won’t unfold with his charge, telling German daily newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung:
“We would have never accepted that. It was always clear that Dortmund should get a fee, [they deserve] a sign of gratitude.”
Nice sentiment, but money talks, and if Gundogan is still at BvB by January, without a new deal in place, then he’ll be able to sign for whoever will take him, which is sure to be a fine queue of clubs, with a hefty signing-on fee expected for both his bank account and his uncle’s.
There’s little-to-no chance of the Gelsenkirchen native heading 600km south east to join Lewandowski, Gotze, Pep Guardiola and co at ‘FC Hollywood’ this summer, but if he hangs tough and keeps his powder dry for six months, it’ll be entirely his call.
Bayern Munich are 9/2 to cause massive ructions in Germany by buying Gundogan during this transfer window, with Arsenal 8/1 to snag his signature before September 4th and Real Madrid 8/1.