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Written by Martin Graham | May 18 2022
Sportsmail It was recently reported that Manchester City have given midfielder Ilkay Gundogan the freedom to leave the club as the final year of his contract approaches.
Gundogan joined the Premier League giants in 2016 from German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund as Pep Guardiola’s first signing after being appointed as coach. Six years later, he’s ready to walk out as his contract comes to an end.
It is understood that the club wants to extend his contract beyond 2023 when it expires, but they have also opened the door for him to talk to other clubs.
Gundogan, who is expected to be a key player in the squad given his time there, has only made 20 Premier League matches out of 37 so far. In a previous interview, the Germany international noted that while Guardiola is one of the best coaches, it is difficult to play under him due to the constant tweaking and tweaking.
City are planning to rebuild after signing young strikers Julian Alvarez from River Plate and Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. Given the number of young options from the City academy struggling for the midfield shirt as well as their lead with a few younger signings, it is understandable why the club opened the doors for Gundogan to leave if he so desired.
Gundogan in Man City
Gundogan signed with City in 2016 for £21m. His first season at the club did not go well as he only made 10 Premier League matches, scoring three goals and three assists.
Gundogan went on to establish himself as a key player in the highly competitive Man City side the following season, making 30 appearances and scoring four goals.
In the same year, he was so influential in the progression of the five-time Premier League champions in the Champions League that he made nine appearances and scored two goals.
Over the years, Gundogan has become a prominent figure in the squad, averaging 30 Premier League games each season.
His best season was the 2020/2021 season in which he participated in 28 Premier League games and scored 13 goals, helping Manchester City win their fifth title for the third time.
This season is his lowest since 2018-2019 which can be attributed to the myriad of options in the role.
Gundogan has been linked with a move to Madrid
Recent reports from the England torch about the possibility that Real Madrid could be the destination of the midfielder after he was seen a few days ago on a special flight to Spain.
This speculation is unfounded given the fact that 13-time Champions League winners have been linked with the German midfielder while with Dortmund.
So far, there have been no comments from his camp about links with Madrid or his possible exit from City.