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FC Barcelona could announce the signing of one of the main stars of Manchester City’s potentially treble-winning team following Saturday’s Champions League final, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Ilkay Gundogan will captain Pep Guardiola’s men against Inter Milan, fresh off the back of his brace against crosstown rivals Manchester United which sealed the FA Cup and a domestic double last week.
SPORT reported in May that Barca had convinced Gundogan to turn down an extension offer from City and agree a three-year contract with them.
Before the weekend, rival publication Mundo Deportivo reports that, following the failure to land Lionel Messi, who in recent days announced he will join Inter Miami, Barca want to finalize Gundogan’s signing as soon as possible.
MD confirms SPORT‘s reports, in that the veteran will pledge his future to the Catalans for at least three terms, and they want to have everything wrapped up in the coming hours if possible.
This would then allow Barca to announce Gundogan’s signature on Saturday evening approaching midnight in Europe, after City have perhaps won their first ever Champions League crown since finishing runners-up to Chelsea in 2021, or Inter Milan have lifted their fourth.
Following the fixture, Gundogan could then head off to international duty with Germany as a Barca player for friendlies against Ukraine, Poland, and Colombia.
The fact that he is likely set to leave City and has turned down renewal offers from them is communicated by the Etihad giants already trying to sign a replacement in Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic with whom they have already agreed personal terms according to transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano.
Gundogan should be the first summer signing that Xavi Hernandez needs, in one of four key areas as specified by the head coach in interviews conceded this week.
A pivot replacement is required for outgoing captain Sergio Busquets above all, but Xavi also said he needs another midfielder which is where 32-year-old Gundogan comes in.
Xavi would also like a backup striker for Robert Lewandowski, plus a left winger with Ansu Fati or Ferran Torres possibly sold and a right back.