EXCLUSIVE: Barcelona face Messi problem with Gundogan as Arsenal keep hope

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 23 Jun 2023 08:23 BST
  • 2 min read
Xavi, Ilkay Gundogan, Mikel Arteta
© ProShots

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has agreed to sign with Barcelona but the Catalan club face a race against time to complete the summer signing of the Germany international.

Barca have offered him a three-team contract, which was the type of multi-year deal that was not on the table from Man City.

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FootballTransfers reported exclusively in mid-May that Arsenal’s hopes of signing the 32-year-old hinged on the type of deal they were willing to offer him, with the odds against a move being made. At that time there was a sense that Gundogan wanted to stay at City, but now the feeling is that he would already have re-signed if that were the case.

MORE: Arsenal ‘CLOSE’ to completing first summer transfer - Ornstein

Instead, it has proven to be Barcelona that have been the Gunners’ threat in this transfer saga. The free agent has agreed terms with Xavi’s side, sources have told FootballTransfers, but there remains significant distance to be covered for a deal to be done.

Barcelona missed out on signing Lionel Messi on a free transfer earlier this summer because he was unwilling for the club to comply with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations in Spain, and these are also putting a deal for Gundogan under threat.

FootballTransfers has learned that the player is willing to give Barca 10-12 days to sort out their problems and sign him, else he will consider other options.

Arsenal are waiting to be informed of the situation.

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Arsenal desperate to sign Gundogan – and Lavia

FootballTransfers understands that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is “desperate” to sign Gundogan and have offered him a two-year deal. This shorter contract was one of the reasons he favours Barcelona.

Regardless of whether he signs, Arsenal will continue to pursue a move for Romeo Lavia of Southampton. With Granit Xhaka and, probably, Thomas Partey set to leave, the Gunners do not want to be left so inexperienced in this area of the field.

Meanwhile, if Arsenal miss out on Gundogan, FootballTransfers has learned that Arteta does have an additional midfield target in mind.

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