After reaching an agreement last week to sign Ilkay Gundogan, Barcelona have officially confirmed the former Manchester City player’s signing on Monday.
The veteran midfielder has signed a two-year deal, with an option for a third, with a €400 million release clause. Gundogan arrives as a free agent following the end of his contract with the European champions.
Gundogan had a number of options including re-signing with Manchester City. Arsenal were also interested as well as clubs from Saudi Arabia. But he has opted to sign for Barcelona and, depending on his performance, could end up being one of the best signings of the summer.
It is not hard to see why he was so coveted and what he could potentially bring to Xavi Hernandez’s side.
Under Pep Guardiola, Gundogan has played almost everywhere in midfield. He can serve a number of functions but has functioned more as a playmaker this season as well as contributing his fair share of goals. He certainly demonstrated that prowess late in the season in both the league and Champions League.
He offers Xavi another creative outlet in midfield. A player Barcelona have certainly lacked whenever Pedri isn’t on the pitch. He also brings a wealth of experience playing at the highest level, something the relatively young Barcelona midfield don’t have.
Gundogan is also set to reunite with former Borussia Dortmund teammate Robert Lewandowski.
He officially becomes Barcelona’s first signing of the season with Iñigo Martinez and Vitor Roque to be the next dominos to fall.
While registering him shouldn’t be a problem, he is the type of player Barcelona covet given their financial situation. The Catalan side hope he can be to them next season what Andreas Christensen was last season.
“If I was going to move, there is only one club in the world that made sense,” Gundogan said. “It was Barcelona or nothing.”