Barcelona have pulled off a major coup by signing Manchester City’s star midfielder Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer.
The 32-year-old German international has agreed to join the Catalan giants after his contract with City expires this summer.
Gundogan was a key player for Pep Guardiola’s side that won an unprecedented treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles last season.
He scored twice in the FA Cup final against Manchester United and also lifted the Champions League trophy after beating Inter Milan in the final.
However, he decided to leave City after failing to agree on a new deal with the club. He had offers from Arsenal and clubs in Saudi Arabia, but he chose Barcelona as his next destination.
According to Spanish media reports, Gundogan signed his contract with Barcelona in Munich, where Barca’s director Mateu Alemany flew to finalize the deal.
He has reportedly signed for two years with an option for a third year, depending on his appearances in his second season.
He has also passed his medicals in Germany and has a release clause of €500 million in his contract.
Barcelona are confident that they will be able to register Gundogan without any problems, despite their financial difficulties.
They see him as a versatile and experienced midfielder who can play as an interior or as a pivot. He will also add quality and leadership to Xavi Hernandez’s squad that is undergoing a rebuilding process.
Gundogan is Barcelona’s second signing of the summer after they snapped up Athletic Club defender Inigo Martinez.