Manchester United are in advanced talks to sign Borussia Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan, reports German newspaper Bild.
The story, which was brought to our attention by Sport Witness, claims Louis van Gaal has given the green light to sign the midfielder ahead of what promises to be another big summer of spending at Old Trafford.
Gundogan was once one of the brightest midfield talent in Europe, but his stock fell significantly after suffering a serious back injury. He spent the best part of 18 months in rehabilitation but has since returned to first-team action.
The problem for Jurgen Klopp is not Gundogan's fitness but his contract situation. The Germany international's deal runs out next year and Borussia Dortmund do not want to lose another key player for free as they did with Robert Lewandowski.
But after such a long time out it seemed few clubs were willing to take a punt on Gundogan. That seems to have changed with the Red Devils reportedly close to agreeing a deal to sign him.
Van Gaal wanted a combative midfielder in the summer transfer window and has been linked with both Kevin Strootman and Paul Pogba.
The former has been struggling with a serious knee injury and does not seem a risk worth taking for Manchester United while the latter would cost a world-record fee to prize from Juventus.
Gundogan will come with risks as well but should not cost nearly as much as Strootman or Pogba. There are no fees mentioned in the report but previous reports in the British media have suggested an offer of around £16million could be enough.
Arsenal have also been linked with Gundogan with Arsene Wenger seeking a similar style of player. However, the emergence of Francis Coquelin may have changed his transfer plans.
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