Manchester United close to signing Ilkay Gundogan

Published 04/25/2015, 2:59 AM EDT


The English club Manchester United are close to agreeing on a deal with the German club Borussia Dortmund’s midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. He has been a target since the past season and was in and out of the rumour circle.
This deal, if materializes, is a part of the long-term plans of Louis van Gaal at United.

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The midfielder, 24, runs out his contract at Die Schwarzgelben at the end of the 2015-16 season.  Even though he was injured and was occasionally in and out of the team, he has shown brilliant quality whenever he has played.
His role at Manchester United is a predicted to be a replacement for Michael Carrick, who recently signed a 12-month extension. Carrick has been impressing this season because of his ability to control the play and his range of vision. Gundogan can fulfil the same needs next year when Carrick can be made to play passively, as his age will start to trouble him on the pitch. Dortmund is willing to sell Ilkay to prevent an encore of what happened to them with Lewandowski going to Bayern on a free transfer.

The 9 time German national was also tracked by Manchester City and Arsenal, but it is estimated that Manchester United have almost sealed the deal.

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Ilkay Gundogan started his playing career at Vfl Bochum and then played for FC Nurnberg before Dortmund signed him to a 4 year deal in 2011. Bought initially to replace Nuri Sahin, who had left for Real, he was one of the central figures who helped Dortmund reach the 2012-13 UEFA Champions league finals and was really appreciated for his play against Real Madrid in the semi-finals. He scored a penalty against Bayern Munich in the finals but lost the game 2-1.

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His back injury, a compression of spinal, last season ended up as a career-threatening one as he was on the sidelines for 403 days, missing 88 matches for the club and the World Cup. He is coming back hard and strong though, even though stints of overexertion on the pitch put him out for a couple of weeks every now and then.

Louis van Gaal stated his need to buy quality and creative midfielders in the summer transfer season, and he most certainly fits the bill. He is an exceptional passer and has a good understanding of the game. He can also dictate the game when required. His tackle is tenacious and would be a very good candidate for English football.

Other summer targets for United also include the likes of Depay for the creative role in the midfield, along with Nicolas Ottamendi and a few others. It is clear that Louis van Gaal has been given a full pocket to utilize this summer, after the spending spree this season.

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edited by Bhavna Rachuri

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Srivats Venkateswaran

139 articles

Red Devil forever. Engineer by nature, Football by the heart. Sugar, Spice and a whole lotta tadka on the side.

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