Ilkay Gundogan makes his transfer preference clear ahead of private Mikel Arteta meeting

Ilkay Gundogan makes his transfer preference clear ahead of private Mikel Arteta meeting

Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan has been heavily linked with a summer switch to Arsenal, but Spanish giants Barcelona are also pursuing a deal for the midfield maestro

Ilkay Gundogan has been heavily linked with both Arsenal and Barcelona(Manchester City YouTube)

Ilkay Gundogan favours a move to Barcelona amid transfer interest from Arsenal, it has been claimed.

The Manchester City captain, 32, is due to become a free agent this summer and has yet to reach an agreement with the Premier League champions over fresh terms. That has led to speculation that the Gunners – City’s closest challengers in the title race – will attempt to poach the German international in the coming weeks.

City still haven’t given up hope of convincing the midfield maestro to commit his future to the club and Gundogan confirmed last month that talks over his future are still ongoing.

That hasn’t been enough to quell interest from Arsenal, though. Mikel Arteta is plotting to overhaul his midfield options ahead of the 2023/24 campaign and a move for Gundogan, who he worked with during his stint on Pep Guardiola ‘s coaching staff, would be regarded as a major coup for the Gunners.

However, a fresh report from Sport has claimed that Gundogan’s preference would be a move to Barcelona, who made contact with the midfielder over a deal ‘long before’ his other suitors. Furthermore, it’s claimed that Gundogan ‘intends’ to reside in Spain, rather than continuing in the Premier League.

Despite Gundogan’s feelings on Barcelona, Arteta is hoping to convince the Manchester City ace to join him at the Emirates in a face-to-face meeting. The Spaniard remains hopeful of pairing Gundogan up with West Ham captain Declan Rice, who is the Gunners’ primary summer transfer target.

Arteta has form for raiding the Etihad; Arsenal’s title challenge this year was driven by Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, two players who were deemed surplus to requirements by Guardiola.

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