“Ilkay Gundogan Set to Join Barcelona on Free Transfer, Ending Successful Stint at Manchester City”

Man City captain Ilkay Gundogan is on the verge of joining Barcelona on a free transfer, marking the end of his successful tenure with the English club. The 32-year-old midfielder’s contract with Manchester City expires at the end of the month, and despite the club’s efforts to retain him, Gundogan desired a longer extension than what was offered.

Although City made a late attempt to keep their captain by improving the length of the contract, it is now understood that Gundogan is unlikely to stay at the Etihad and is poised to move to Barcelona. Both manager Pep Guardiola and chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak had publicly expressed their hopes of retaining Gundogan, highlighting his contributions and leadership on and off the field.

Gundogan’s impact at City has been significant, particularly in their recent successful campaigns. He assumed the captain’s armband this season and played a pivotal role in the team’s triumphs, scoring crucial goals and lifting trophies. His final act in a City shirt was lifting the coveted Champions League trophy in Istanbul, completing a historic treble for the club.

If the transfer goes through, Gundogan will join Xavi’s Barcelona on a three-year contract, surpassing the two-year offer made by Manchester City. City has given their blessing to Gundogan’s departure and will now explore alternative options to strengthen their squad. The club has already had a bid accepted for Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

Gundogan’s departure marks the end of an era at Manchester City. He leaves behind an impressive legacy, having won multiple Premier League titles, FA Cups, Carabao Cups, and the UEFA Champions League during his time at the club. With 60 goals and 40 assists in 304 appearances, Gundogan has played a crucial role in Manchester City’s success. He was Guardiola’s first signing at the club in 2016 and will be remembered as one of the recent legends of the team.

While Gundogan’s move to Barcelona is yet to be officially confirmed, his potential transfer signifies a new chapter in his illustrious career and presents an exciting opportunity for the German midfielder to make his mark at one of the world’s most iconic clubs.

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