subscribe Support our award-winning journalism. The Premium package (digital only) is R30 for the first month and thereafter you pay R129 p/m now ad-free for all subscribers.
Subscribe now
Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan celebrates with the trophy after winning the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. Picture: PAUL CHILDS/ACTION IMAGES/REUTERS
Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan celebrates with the trophy after winning the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. Picture: PAUL CHILDS/ACTION IMAGES/REUTERS

Bengaluru — Ilkay Gundogan will join Barcelona on a free transfer from treble winners Manchester City while City are to sign Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

Gundogan will leave City after captaining the English club to the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League last season, ending a successful seven-year stint in England where he won 14 trophies, including five league titles.

Gundogan was Pep Guardiola’s first recruit when he took over at City in 2016 despite the German being sidelined with a knee injury when he was signed from Borussia Dortmund.

He proved to be the man for the big occasion at City, especially over the past two seasons when he scored crucial goals that helped City seal several trophies.

Gundogan leaves City having made more than 300 appearances, scoring 60 goals.

Kovacic will arrive for an initial fee of £25m, possibly rising to £30m and will boost City’s options in the heart of midfield.

He arrives with four Champions League successes to his name, three with Real Madrid, and provides the wealth of experience Guardiola will be losing with Gundogan’s departure.

Like Gundogan, he can play further forward despite preferring a more defensive role, though he does trail the German with just seven appearances per goal contribution to the former’s three.

Kovacic has scored just 24 goals in 491 club appearances, compared to Gundogan's 110 in 557 career appearances.

Reuters

subscribe Support our award-winning journalism. The Premium package (digital only) is R30 for the first month and thereafter you pay R129 p/m now ad-free for all subscribers.
Subscribe now

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.