Ilkay Gundogan will not renew his contract with Borussia Dortmund, the club have confirmed.
The midfielder is contracted to Dortmund until 2016 and has been linked with a move away in recent weeks.
The 24-year-old has been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks, with reports coming from Germany suggesting that boss Louis van Gaal was close to sealing a deal. Dortmund Sporting Director Michael Zorc has recently denied that is the case but added: "A decision will be made on Ilkay's future soon."
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It appears as though that decision has been made, with Dortmund confirming today that he will not be with the club beyond his contract expiration date on June 30. They also added that Gundogan had taken the decision himself.
Gundogan was part of the Dortmund team that beat Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal Cup on Tuesday, and scored his side's first penalty as Jurgen Klopp's side claimed victory via a 2-0 shootout win.
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The 2013 Champions League finalists are now likely to be on the hunt for a buyer in the summer rather than let him walk away for nothing in 2016, and that could play into the hands of Manchester United.
Van Gaal is believed to be in the market for a midfielder in the summer, and although Paul Pogba has been suggested as his top target, a cut-price swoop for Gundogan may be more appealing. Pogba is likely to fetch a fee well in excess of £50 million if Juventus do indeed decide to sell up in the summer.
Manchester United may well be concerned about the German international's chequered injury history in recent seasons. Gundogan has managed less than 50 league appearances over the last three campaigns although he's managed to start 18 matches this term.
It seems as though Manchester United are about to be handed a fine player for a reduced price just when they are in need of a midfielder. Pogba is of course the better player but his price plus Juventus' reluctance to sell means the deal is all but impossible.
Gundogan at his best offers dynamism and pace; he was perhaps the best player on show in the Champions League final in 2013 and if he can recapture that form then the Red Devils will have one hell of a player on their hands.
Do you think Gundogan is a good alternative to Paul Pogba?
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