Manchester United and Arsenal are beginning to realise the true cost of signing Ilkay Gundogan this summer after the Borussia Dortmund midfielder turned down a mouthwatering £163,000-a-week contract offer from rival suitors Paris Saint-Germain.
TalkSPORT cites a report in German newspaper Sport Bild which suggests the 24-year-old does still want to depart the Westfalenstadion during the forthcoming transfer window but it seems would prefer to remain in the Bundesliga with reigning champions Bayern Munich also believed to be circling.
Gundogan's big-money rejection to PSG is not exactly encouraging for either Louis van Gaal or Arsene Wenger as the two Premier League rivals consider whether or not it is worth submitting formal offers of their own.
The Germany international has been coveted by a host of top European clubs after it became clear he would not be signing a contract extension with Dortmund, choosing instead to follow former manager Jurgen Klopp out of the exit door upon the completion of the 2014/15 campaign.
With just one year remaining on his existing deal with BVB the asking price for Gundogan is pretty reasonable in what already seems to be an inflated summer market, but neither the Gunners nor the Red Devils would've expected they'd have to pay the player so much in wages.
It's unclear which destination between the Emirates and Old Trafford that the Turkish-born ace would prefer to move to, but what's certain is the fact that he has no desire whatsoever to continue his career in France after snubbing lucrative terms laid out by the Ligue 1 champions.
Barcelona have also been mooted as admirers of Gundogan in the past, but the fact they are currently serving a FIFA imposed transfer ban means it'll be difficult to negotiate a deal to take the in-demand star to Camp Nou this summer.
Of course, there is a small chance that the player might've priced himself out of a move this summer, meaning he could be forced to see out the rest of his contract at Signal Iduna Park and then leave on a Bosman free transfer this time next year.
Where do you think Ilkay Gundogan will end up playing next season? How much would you be prepared to pay him to join your club this summer? Have your say below…