As well as the Gaitan stories this week the global sports media has been persisting with the speculation that a deal for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan to join Manchester United is nearing a conclusion.
The Mirror states:
Manchester United news and transfers: Red Devils ‘win the race for Ilkay Gundogan’
…deal for in-demand Dortmund fielder is reportedly through the door
The Express goes with:
Man Utd to announce Ilkay Gundogan deal THIS WEEKEND
And quotes the German club’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzk as saying:
“Gundogan will be leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer, that is a fact. I am very confident we will see various clubs coming in for him.
“It has not been our intention to see him leaving. It was his ambition to move clubs (this summer). Therefore we agreed. We will sell him.”
We think that he’s a technically lovely player – the biggest compliment you can pay him is that sometimes it’s genuinely difficult to work out which is his stronger foot – and the notion that he has a choice between Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester United suggests that he is rated highly in the highest echelons of the sport.
What’s more, at 24, he’s at a great age to offer his next club 8 years of service. He should also add to his 9 caps and 2 goals for Germany now that he’s fully recovered from the back injury which kept him out of the game for over a year.
Our main reservation is whether Manchester United need a player like this. While he is adaptable enough to play in several positions Manchester United surely need a specialist number 6 who can defend, destroy and start attacks with his passing. While we have no doubt that Gundogan can do the latter perfectly, we wonder whether he has the physical presence to do the defensive part convincingly, or whether he might be too easily swept aside by the powerful front lines that litter The Premier League.
Let’s take a look at the lad in action. Manchester United fans: An underwhelming signing?