With Granit Xhaka and Loris Karius due to be confirmed as new signings of Arsenal and Liverpool respectively this week, another player is set to swap Germany for England as Manchester City close in on their first signing of the summer.
According to a report in Bild today, Borussia Dortmund’s İlkay Gündoğan is to become Pep Guardiola’s first official signing as the new Man City boss with an £18million deal expected to be completed, possibly as soon as today.
The 25 year old German international has endured an injury-hit couple of seasons at the Westfalenstadion, and a dislocated kneecap suffered in April is set to keep him out of action until September. Nonetheless, Guardiola is keen to push ahead with a transfer, with a fee already agreed between Dortmund and Man City and personal terms all but finalised.
BILD: Ilkay Gündogan’s move to Man City almost done. Initial fee of just under £18 million. Unlikely to be fit until October though.
— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) May 23, 2016
£18m is something of a bargain for Manchester City, but the player’s contract was due to expire next summer. Gündoğan’s reluctance to sign a new deal made it a no-brainer for Thomas Tuchel’s side to cash in this year rather than lose him for nothing in 2017.
Despite his injury problems, Gündoğan is a highly-regarded player. He was signed by Jürgen Klopp at Dortmund from Nuremberg in 2011 for €6.5m, and he went on to establish himself as an important player in the side that won consecutive Bundesliga titles as well as reaching the 2013 Champions League final.
— Matchbook (@TeamMatchBook) April 14, 2016
Gündoğan’s departure will be another blow to Dortmund, having just lost captain Mats Hummels to fierce rivals Bayern Munich for €35m earlier in the month. Despite their success, they have struggled to keep hold of their star players in recent years, though it is to their credit that they have been able to recover ably with each significant loss.