Arsenal look to sign Man City’s midfield talisman!


Who could it be, though? Rodrigo? Grealish? De Bruyne? No, it’s not quite as scintillating as all of that, but there’s an outside chance that we could see our braintrust make a move for İlkay Gündoğan, who’ll be out of contract this summer and has recently made a very compelling case for his continued usefulness to a title contender (if not more). The 32 year old German has been in and out of Man City’s lineup. Could Arteta once again work his Man City magic?

Barcelona are also rumoured to be interested because, well, what else is new? However, one can’t overlook the Manchester-to-London pipeline that Arteta has opened up. Having prised away younger, more-vital assets in the form of Jesus and Zinchenko, is it too much to imagine that he could lure Gündoğan away from Guardiola? If we’re to part with Granit Xhaka, we could do worse than to bring in another #8 with Gündoğan’s pedigree.

Available on a free transfer, one might expect his weekly wages to exceed the £140k he’s currently on. However, considering our need for battle-tested, trench-comfortable experience, it might be worth offering him a pay rise, all the more so when we consider that the alternative is splurging £80m or more on Rice and Caicedo, plus the wages they’d demand. Gündoğan, at his age, wouldn’t rule out a move for both players, but he might be valuable in other ways.

For example, there’s been growing noise around Rice going to Bayern. Fine. Dandy. There’s similar noise around Xhaka going to Bayern as well. If we play our cards right, and this is a very Scylla & Charybdis threading of a needle, we could leverage our interest in Gündoğan to drive Rice’s fee downward while also driving Xhaka’s fee upward. That would be a delicate dance but one that Arteta and Edu just might be able to deliver.

If we could bring Gündoğan in on a free transfer, we could count that as £80m or more that we could then spend to reinforce other positions. Think of it: Xhaka leaves to join one Bayern or another. We sign one of Rice or Caicedo (I prefer Caicedo; more on that on another day…). We also sign Gündoğan. Instead of spending £150m on transfer fees plus wages on top of that, we’ve spent half, leaving us quite a lot more to spend on an Osimhein or a Maddison or a Tielemans.

It’s not all that far-fetched. Having secured the services of Martinelli and Saka in recent weeks, other players from further afield with be more willing to trust the process. We could do worse than signing Gündoğan on a short-term contract, maybe two years, so that he could deliver in those high-pressure moments (did you see his goals against Man U in the FA Cup?) but also that he could offer some leadership to a young squad when it falters.

Man City still have a Champions League title to pursue, so we probably won’t be hearing anything all that dramatic around Gündoğan’s future until after that. Perhaps winning a treble might convince Gündoğan to consider the rewards of elevating a squad towards trophies as being superior to confirming a pre-determined outcome? Speaking only for myself, I wouldn’t object…

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10 thoughts on “Arsenal look to sign Man City’s midfield talisman!

  1. Me

    I love Arsenal but they have no chance of signing Gundogan – he will stay at City or move to Barcelona.
    I am worried that we are looking at a player who will soon be 33 years old, especially on such huge wages. I thought we had learned our lessons with Cech, Willian and Luis.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      I see what you’re saying, and Guardiola is now saying he wants Gundogan to stay. I do think he’s different from Cech, Willian, or Luiz- those were more like desperate stopgaps to long-term problems. He’s still playing vibrant, intelligent football.

  2. daveg

    Arsenal are not Dads Army. He is too old and against Arsenals club policy. He would only get a year to year contract due to his age and wage demand, but not one from Arsenal.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      I’d be fine with a one-year contract. On a free transfer, we could afford to offer him a pay rise and still come out having spent less than we’ll have to for RIce or Caicedo.

  3. Palladio43

    It ain’t gonna happen. If he leaves City it will not be to start life anew and he is, as others have indicated, too old.
    Jon, what flavor of Kool-Aid are you drinking?

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      I agree it’s a far-fetched notion but out of the realm of possibility. Arteta has been able to convince Jesus and Zinchenko to make the switch. It’s not impossible to imagine Gundogan coming here for a larger role – he can play as a second striker, attacking mid, centre mid, and defensive mid. It’s rare to see that level of versatility.

  4. jw1

    Sorry to see you getting hammered on this Jon. I actually agree with you. What occurred this season– we flew a bit too close to the Sun before-ready to challenge– due to depth of squad.

    What Gundogan would offer is that ‘fill-in’ player role– not unlike Jorginho did in the 6 role. ArtEdu have to flesh out a squad that must compete on at least two fronts next season– and adding Gundogan on a 2-year deal for wages-only is a net positive.

    This isn’t like any of the Chelsea rejects coming into a floundering team. This is another champion pedigree player walking into a system he’s thrived in already.

    Did no one notice that Gundogan has scored almost ALL of City’s most important goals here at season’s end?

    Ilkay Gundogan is as clutch as they come.
    He’s not falling off a cliff in the next 12 months.
    Sign him if at all possible.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      Thanks for sticking up for me, jw. I don’t mind taking a little stick. It’s when we only hear agreement & what we want to hear that we should worry. I think the biggest obstacles to this move are that Guardiola has stated that he wants to keep Gundogan (and is probably reluctant to sell a third player to us, given how close to the sun we flew) and Barcelona are also apparently interested. Given their financial situation, though, they may not be able to offer him as much as we can. I’d love to see him here. As you say, he’s as clutch as they come, and, for as good as our young players have been, we could do with a bit more of that kind of experience & leadership.


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