Ilkay Gundogan has suggested he could leave Manchester City in search of “a new challenge” at the end of the season.
The German is closing in on 100 appearances for City but has hinted he may depart the club this summer with a year still remaining on his contract.
Has Gundogan earned a new contract? Five key things to know…
- Gundogan joined City from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2016 after impressing in the Bundesliga.
- His debut campaign in England was curtailed by injury with just 16 appearances in all competitions.
- Last season, Gundogan played a key role in City’s record-breaking Premier League title win, scoring four goals in 30 appearances.
- This term, he has scored five goals in 33 games across all competitions but his form has been inconsistent.
- According to the Telegraph, Pep Guardiola has said he “wants to feel that he (Gundogan) wants to stay”.
Gundogan has revealed talks are ongoing with City but a number of factors mean fresh terms are yet to be agreed.
“We are still in talks but I don’t feel there is much pressure, maybe also because we are still competing in all the competitions and want to go as far as possible in everything we are competing in,” he said.
“So obviously one day there has to be a decision but I am very happy at the moment here, especially about how we play under Pep, and that is the main thing.”
The 28-year-old went on to hint at a possible exit at the end of a season that could still end with City winning the quadruple.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
He added: “This is something everyone has to decide for themselves. I am 28 years old now so my next contract will maybe decide where I will be for the end of my career. Everyone feels different. Maybe someone has an inner feeling in his self to go for a new challenge or to change something.
“If you see on my [curriculum] vitae you can read that I am always open-minded for challenges but it is a personal situation. This is something that is not obvious.
“Everyone has to make his own decision. At the moment I try to play as good as possible and I guess after the season we are going to talk again.”
Do Man City need Gundogan to stay?
Gundogan has been an important player under Guardiola but his form has been indifferent at times this season.
That said, he will prove to be a vital member of the squad in upcoming games with Fernandinho, another crucial cog in the Guardiola machine, on the treatment table.
Pep Guardiola, speaking in his pre-match press conference, admitted he wants the German midfielder to stay: “I would prefer him to stay but at the same time I want to feel he wants to stay too.
“If he doesn’t want to stay he has to leave. But we would like to continue. Next season he has a contract and a longer time together.
“I said before if he wants to stay, we will talk to him and we can sign the contract.”
Looking ahead even further, City will be anxious about the result of Fifa’s investigation into their possible Financial Fair Play breaches.
If City face a transfer ban, they may need Gundogan to stay as they won’t be able to sign a replacement.