Football

Barcelona ask Ilkay Gundogan to wait while they try to sign Paul Pogba

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Barcelona have put their move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan on hold while they try and complete a move for Juventus ace Paul Pogba.

Gundogan will leave Dortmund in the summer after refusing to sign a contract to extend his stay with the German club beyond 2016, and a host of top European clubs are believed to be in the race for his signature. 

However it seemed as though Barcelona were at the front of the queue for the German international's signature - but according to Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles the move has been put on hold.

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He claims that Barcelona have asked Gundogan to wait until they sound out Juventus about how likely it is that Pogba will be available to move in the summer. The Italian club have repeatedly insisted that he is not for sale amidst interest from other clubs including Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Reports have suggested that Pogba will cost in the region of £60 million and the issue is further complicated by the fact that the former Manchester United man wouldn't be able to play for Barcelona until their transfer ban ends in January 2016.

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Gundogan is likely to be less than impressed with the request by Barcelona but will likely sit tight for the time being if the chance to join the team heralded by some as one of the best of all time is still there. 

Success

Barcelona secured a historic treble with victory in the Champions League final against Juventus on Saturday thanks to goals from Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Neymar. The game marked midfield maestro Xavi's final game for the Catalan club after an illustrious career, and it seems as though Barcelona have earmarked either Gundogan or Pogba as the men to fill the gap.

Although it is likely that Gundogan will be on the move in the summer, he hasn't ruled out staying for one more season and walking away for nothing next year.

"Barcelona are a great club, but there are many great clubs out there," he told SID last month. "If I don't renew my contract that doesn't mean I won't stay until 2016. I'm not hell-bent on leaving by force and would be prepared to stay for another year if that suited both sides.

Opinion

Barcelona are playing a dangerous game in keeping Gundogan waiting. His stock has fallen a little because of his history of injuries but the German is a genuine world class operator who will have no shortage of suitors. 

If Juventus are steadfast and refuse to budge over Pogba then they may find by the time they return to Gundogan he has been spirited away by the likes of Manchester United.

Is Gundogan good enough to be even half the player that Xavi is?

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Topics:
Football
Paul Pogba
Premier League
Manchester United
Chelsea
Barcelona

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