Man City will reportedly have to convince Ilkay Gundogan that he has a big role to play moving forward in order to keep him at the Etihad for the long-term future.
The 28-year-old joined the Citizens in 2016 and has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the club while winning a Premier League title and two League Cups.
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Time will tell if the Champions League, FA Cup and a successful defence of their league crown will follow, as City face a huge month in which they hope to complete a historic quadruple.
However, according to The Sun, they face concern over keeping Gundogan at the club beyond this season, as it’s suggested that he wants reassurances over his playing time before committing to a new long-term contract with his current deal set to expire next summer.
Man City’s bid to keep him at the club is complicated further by the report suggesting that both Real Madrid and Inter are interested in the German international, with the latter being tipped to launch a £28m bid for him this summer.
Gundogan has made 43 appearances so far this season, scoring five goals and providing seven assists.
If there is one area in which Pep Guardiola can’t afford to lose players it’s in midfield, as the Spanish tactician is arguably already short of quality depth to an extent, while stalwart Fernandinho turns 34 this summer and Kevin de Bruyne has struggled with injuries this season.
In turn, that has enabled Gundogan to play a more prominent role, but clearly with the competition for places in mind and possible reinforcements arriving this summer, it’s understandable as to why he would want reassurances before committing himself to City for what would be the peak years of his career.
Time will tell if Man City can offer what he’s looking for, but if they can’t, then it would come as no surprise if they consider offers for him to avoid losing him on a free next year, while also targeting midfield signings this summer to fill the void.