World Football

Manchester United Transfer News: Ilkay Gundogan Set to Decide Dortmund Future

Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan warms up during a training session one day ahead the Champions League group F soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal FC in Dortmund, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Frank Augstein/Associated Press
Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2014

German international midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is set to decide his future in the next few weeks, according to to Borussia Dortmund's CEO.

Alan Wilson of The Mirror reports quotes from Hans-Joachim Watzke, who said the in-demand 23-year-old will announce details of his immediate plans soon, as the player tries to recover his fitness before the start of the World Cup.

Gundogan has been out injured all season with a back injury.

Wilson quotes Watzke saying:

On whether he will compete in the World Cup, I am not the one to give out reliable forecasts. We will not speculate about when he will come back. We are convinced he will be healthy but we cannot measure this in terms of weeks or months. As for the contract, it will not be a long, dragged-out affair. I think it is not going to be more than a matter of weeks.

Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press

However, German football pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft remains unconvinced about Gundogan's fitness. He tweeted:

Watzke's comment seems to indicate that Gundogan might stay with the Champions League finalists, but the player has remained tight-lipped this season over his future.

Wilson writes that Manchester United manager David Moyes has long been confident of landing the player in a deal worth £32 million, which could see Shinji Kagawa move the opposite way back to his former club.

Kagawa has had two disappointing seasons at Old Trafford, after arriving with a big reputation and world-class potential. 

The Japan international has only made 12 Premier League appearances this year, per Squawka, and has failed to score.

With the arrival of Juan Mata to United, and Wayne Rooney signing a long-term deal with the Red Devils, it appears that Kagawa's chances at the club will further diminish. 

Whatever Gundogan decides on his future, he fits the profile of the kind of player Moyes must pursue this summer. United have failed as a midfield unit for a number of years, despite the continued success for the club under Sir Alex Ferguson.

United need a dynamic and intelligent player in the centre of the park, and Gundogan would bring these elements to Old Trafford, if United can convince him to come.

However, the crash in performance and results level for the North-West giants may deter the player from leaving one of the best teams in European football for a failing side who will not have Champions League football next season.

United will have to pay over the odds to compensate any new arrivals, and this puts the club in a weak position when it comes to their summer transfer activity.

Kagawa could be the carrot that makes Dortmund interested in any proposed deal. He would be welcomed back to the Bundesliga with open arms after his hugely successful time there previously, and a swap would potentially suit both clubs.


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