Arsenal academy boss Per Mertesacker claims the Gunners are in a good position to sign Ilkay Gundogan. He believes contact has continued between his fellow German and his former coach at Manchester City, Mikel Arteta.
Gundogan is out of contract at City at the end of this month. Barcelona have been strongly linked with signing him on a free transfer.
The 32-year-old is yet to agree a new deal at the Etihad, with City only willing to offer him the guarantee of a one-year contract. Arsenal are keeping an eye on the situation and are ready to pounce.
Gundogan has skippered City to a historic treble this season, culminating in the club’s first Champions League triumph on Saturday. Mertesacker was working as a pundit for German TV station ZDF for the match.
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The former Arsenal skipper, who is now in charge of managing the entire academy setup at the club, claims Gundogan may see now as a good time to leave City. Mertesacker says the treble could convince Gundogan “to say, okay, mission accomplished.”
He then stated that he thinks Arsenal are well placed to complete a deal due to the player’s relationship with Mikel Arteta. He added: “I think the clubs are queuing.
“Because Arteta knows him and we probably haven’t broken off contact, we’re in a good position. I think he’ll let it all sink in first and then choose from one of the four clubs.”
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Arteta coached Gundogan when he was assistant at City between 2016 and 2019. A reunion could be on the cards if the midfielder is unable to agree upon a new contract with his current club.
He could become the third player Arsenal sign from City in the last 12 months. Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko made the move last summer, while there is also interest from the Gunners in full-back Joao Cancelo.
Gundogan hit a rich vein of form in the final months of this season to help City claw back the gap to Arsenal in the Premier League. Former defender Joleon Lescott hailed his impact after Saturday’s win.
He said on BT Sport: “Huge, huge impact at this stage of the season, every season. He contributes in different ways, he talked on his frustration last season not starting the Aston Villa game, coming on with a mature performance, but Ilkay Gundogan again, like Vincent Kompany before him, will go down in history with this club for lifting a trophy that has been out of the grasp of this club for so long.”
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