Sunday, August 25, 2019

Gundogan expected to seal new Manchester City deal

SoccerNews in English Premier League 5 Aug 2019

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Manchester City are hopeful Ilkay Gundogan will sign a new deal over the coming weeks to end a lengthy period of uncertainty over the midfielder’s future.

Gundogan, who featured as a second-half substitute and scored in Sunday’s shoot-out as Manchester City beat Liverpool in the Community Shield on penalties, is out of contract at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

The Germany international was Pep Guardiola’s first signing at City in 2016, although a cruciate knee ligament injury curtailed his debut season at the Etihad Stadium before the turn of the year.

He has since proved a valuable member of the squad that won back-to-back Premier League titles and a domestic treble last term, even if not always a guaranteed starter.

Talks over a contract extension broke down during the second half of last season but Gundogan expressed a willingness to reopen negotiations at the end of City’s treble-winning campaign.

Asked if he was thinking of remaining in Manchester after the Community Shield win, he smiled and told reporters: “If you stay patient for another couple of weeks you will know – we will see.”

Fresh terms for Gundogan would bring a level of clarity to his City career presently lacking with regards to compatriot Leroy Sane.

Bayern Munich have been linked with a mega-money move for Sane throughout the close season and Guardiola conceded this week that talks over a contract renewal for the 23-year-old had regressed.

“Every situation is different and every situation is individual. Everyone is different and has to take a decision for himself,” Gundogan said.

“These kind of decisions sometimes take a little bit of time.

“That’s why I already mentioned during last season to stay patient because in the end it’s a decision you make for the next few years.

“That’s why I was calm and relaxed and I’m still relaxed. It’s a comfortable situation for me at the moment.”

Sane hobbled down the Wembley tunnel with a knee injury around the time Raheem Sterling gave City a 12th-minute lead against his former club, but the Premier League champions passed up opportunities to extend their advantage and substitute Joel Matip equalised for a much-improved Liverpool during the second half.

Both Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have decried the lowly status that the English season’s traditional curtain raiser has in the eyes of many observers and Gundogan insisted the game he entered with an hour gone certainly did not seem like a warm-up match.

“I never felt it was like a friendly, even last year and in my time in Germany, playing in the Supercup for Dortmund,” the 28-year-old added.

“It’s not a friendly when there is a trophy included – it’s a competition. When we are part of a competition we are going to try to play our best and try to win it. We won’t stop doing that.”

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