Arsenal have set sights on signing Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan in the summer transfer window, as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his squad, according to Guardian.
The newspaper claims Barcelona hold a firm interest in the Germany international, but Arsenal have entered the race for his signature and the idea of working alongside Arteta again could be a tempting one for the 32-year-old.
The North Londoners are set to lose one of their key players, Granit Xhaka, in the summer to Bayer Leverkusen in a deal worth £13m. The Swiss international has decided not to sign a new deal with the club and wants a new challenge, so Arsenal need to bring in a replacement.
Xhaka has been one of the consistent performers for Arsenal this season. The 30-year-old has racked up 46 appearances across all competitions and made 14 goal contributions in the process.
Arsenal have been linked with a host of midfielders including Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Martin Zubimendi, and Moises Caicedo – who they tried to sign from Brighton in January but had multiple bids rejected as the Seagulls did not want to lose him.
The Gunners are back in the race for the 21-year-old’s signature and are favourites to sign him ahead of Chelsea, but Gundogan has emerged as a serious transfer target and could represent a cheaper option.
Gundogan’s contract with Man City will expire this summer but the Premier League champions are likely to offer him a new deal to stay at the Etihad Stadium. The 32-year-old has been a key cog of Pep Guardiola’s team, propelling them to the league title as well reaching the FA Cup and Champions League finals.
Arteta raided his former club, Man City, last summer by bringing both Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to the Emirates Stadium and would like to repeat the same trick this summer with Gundogan.
According to Guardian, Guardiola wants to keep Gundogan but the player is likely to require a deal of two guaranteed years if his spell in Manchester, which began in 2016, is to be extended.
Arteta and Gundogan worked together during the former’s time as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Man City. The former Borussia Dortmund ace joined The Sky Blues seven years ago and has gone on to feature in 301 games, scored 58 goals, and provided 40 assists in the process.
This season, the Germany midfielder – who is valued at £22m by Transfermarkt – has made 48 appearances for Man City, netted nine times, and registered seven assists in all competitions.
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