Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has reportedly agreed to become Barcelona’s first summer signing, after it was confirmed that Sergio Busquets was leaving the club this summer.
According to as per Barca Universal via Sportkeeda, the German international has given his word to coach Xavi Hernandez that he will join his side this season.
Xavi has been looking for a fresh legs to operate in the pivot position in his teams and has identified Gundogan as the best option given his experience and price.
The Catalan had his eyes initially set on Real Sociedad’s smooth operator Martin Zubimendi. But a hefty €60 million release clause slapped on the Spaniard made it impossible for Barca to get him.
Although Xavi wanted a specialist defensive midfielder of which Gundogan is not, the Barca coach has decided to make do with what he has and is prepared to tweak the team to fiit the German.
The 32-year-old will also come for cheap given that his contract at the Etihad will end this season. Although Pep Guardiola wanted to keep him beyond the summer, the Catalan tactician does not want to block his move, given how well he has served.
The German has been a great servant for the club and has been heavily involved in City’s midfield duties this season alongside Bernardo Silva and Kevin de Bruyne. He has registered seven goals and proved six assists in 46 games this season.
Barcelona have ben courting Gundogan since January and were waiting for his word on the deal. As per report, Barca will likely offer him a three-year contract with a lower salary package than he currently earns at Manchester City. He will likely serve as the short-term replacement for Busquets in the defensive midfield position before the club signs a new midfielder.