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Arsenal to battle Barcelona for Ilkay Gundogan

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Arsenal are set to rival Barcelona for the signature of Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.

Speculation over the 32-year-old’s future at the Etihad Stadium is rife as his contract is due to expire at the end of the season.

Gundogan was Pep Guardiola’s first signing at Man City in the summer of 2016 and the German has since established himself as a key cog in the Citizens machine over the last seven seasons.

The midfielder marked his 300th appearance for the reigning Premier League champions with two goals and an assist in last weekend’s 3-0 away victory over Everton.

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Gundogan has contributed with 58 goals and 40 assists in total for Man City and has also won 11 trophies during his time at the Etihad, and the Citizens captain could be lifting three more pieces of silverware this season as Guardiola’s men chase down the treble.

Guardiola has expressed his desire to keep hold of Gundogan beyond this season, but the midfielder is thought to be considering his options, with Barcelona said to hold a strong interest in the German.

A recent report claims that the La Liga champions are keen to complete a deal to sign Gundogan before the end of this month, with discussions currently ongoing between the two parties

However, according to SportBild, Arsenal are weighing up a potential summer swoop for Gundogan, with Mikel Arteta said to ‘appreciate’ the midfielder having worked with him during his time as an assistant coach at the Etihad.

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The report adds that Bayern Munich have no plans to join the race for Gundogan’s signature, while a possible return to Borussia Dortmund is not ‘financially feasible’.

Man City are understood to have offered Gundogan a new one-year contract, but talks over an extension have stalled as the midfielder is keen to pen a longer-term contract, something that Barcelona are prepared to offer.

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