Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Landing Ilkay Gundogan Would Be Major Coup

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Ilkay Gundogan of Borussia Dortmund (L) celebrates with team-mate Marcel Schmelzer after scoring a goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Manchester City has added a small army of new stars. Real Madrid has added several young studs. Barcelona brought in Neymar. Bayern Munich snagged Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara. PSG and Monaco throw around money like Scrooge McDuck tosses coins in the air while swimming in his vault. 

And Manchester United has...uh...well, Manchester United has been pretty quiet thus far on the transfer market. Too quiet, in fact, unless you count all of the Wayne Rooney noise. 

The squad has seen several targets (see Alcantara, Thiago) go elsewhere, and seems unlikely to land another, Cesc Fabregas. But the club's fortunes could be turning, as the team is now turning its gaze to Borussia Dortmund's stud midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan.

From Jamie Sanderson of the Metro:

Manchester United are ready to turn to Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan after missing out on Cesc Fabregas.

United boss David Moyes had made Fabregas his top target this summer, but after seeing three successive bids turned down, he is ready to look elsewhere.

Everton powerhouse Marouane Fellaini remains an option, but it’s now thought that Germany international Gundogan could move to Old Trafford instead.

The 22-year-old had two years left on his Dortmund contract, and despite talk over an extension in recent weeks, United are increasingly confident they could land him for around £20 million.

Gundogan would be a force in United's midfield. He would bring a physicality to the team, but is technically sound enough to also push the play forward and facilitate for his teammates. Like Michael Carrick, he's a well-rounded midfielder able to support the back line or play the role of quarterback.

And given that central midfield remains United's key position to improve, he would instantly make this team better. 

Certainly, he's no Fabregas and probably isn't the full creative player United has targeted by poking its nose around Barcelona's midfield this summer, but as consolation prizes go, he's a darn good one. 

Of course, it's hard to imagine Dortmund letting him go. If the German side hopes to compete with Bayern Munich this season, holding on to players like Gundogan will be key, especially after losing Gotze. 

Few players have taken bigger strides for Dortmund over the past several seasons, and Gundogan promises to be extra motivated this season as he tries to earn a role on the German national team ahead of the World Cup. 

So, United will probably have to make a pretty sizable offer to land Gundogan. Given how this transfer window has already played out, the Red Devils may be willing to do just that. 

Because if they don't do something soon, last year's Premier League winners may find themselves on the outside of Europe's elite this season. 


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