Arsene Wenger is considering a move for Borussia Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan after the Bundesliga outfit issued a contract ultimatum, reports The Mirror.
Gundogan's current deal at the Westfalenhallen Stadium is due to expire in 2016 and Jurgen Klopp is ready to cash in on him in the current transfer window unless he agrees an extension. A £16 million bid has been placed on his head and Arsenal are considering a bid that matches it.
There are concerns over Gundogan's long-term fitness, however. The German only returned to first team action in October after a 14 month layoff, since making nine starts for the club. He is working his way back to his best but a long-standing back problem remains a constant source of worry.
It does not seem to concern Gunners boss Wenger, who has twice tried to sign the 24-year-old in the past, according to the same report. Now Arsenal's need for a forceful midfielder is greater than ever, Wenger is considering the risk.
He will have competition from Premier League rivals if other sources are to be believed. Manchester United and Chelsea are both monitoring the situation.
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Louis van Gaal was reported to be alerted to the situation and may see Gundogan as an alternative to Kevin Strootman. Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, looks set to lose Jon Obi Mikel in the summer and may see Gundogan as an upgrade.
But Arsenal have already established links with Gundogan's representatives after they themselves sounded out clubs over a potential move. Reports in Germany have suggested that Gundogan is ready to see out his contract at Borussia Dortmund if they don't agree to sell him.
Dortmund don't want another major player leaving so soon after big names like Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski, with Marco Reus seemingly soon to follow. But they also don't want to lose him for nothing.
Arsenal's priority for January remains a new centre-back with a new defensive midfielder likely to come in during the summer transfer window. Winston Reid is a target, but Wenger is naturally averse to short-term signings, which usually come at a premium at this halfway stage.