Bayern Munich have pulled out of the race to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan according to reports in Germany.
The 24-year-old is likely to be on the move this summer after Dortmund confirmed that he had refused to sign a new contract with the club.
A host of top European sides have been linked with a swoop including Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Barcelona, however it now seems as though Pep Guardiola's side won't be following up on their interest.
Previous reports have suggested that Bayern and Gundogan had opened talks but they'd stalled over his wage demands and now Bild say that Guardiola has decided to pull out of the deal altogether and focus on alternative targets.
That seemingly leaves the door open for either Manchester United or Barcelona. The Red Devils have been linked with a host of top midfield targets including Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger and Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, however Gundogan could be considered a top target considering he is available for free.
While he may be at the top of Van Gaal's list it seems as though Barcelona are gearing up to make their move, despite being banned from completing transfers until 2016.
Gundogan confirmed that he has opened talks with Barcelona after Dortmund fell to a 3-1 defeat against Wolfsburg in the DFB-Pokal final over the weekend - although he insisted that nothing is set in stone as yet.
He said: "Yes, we are negotiating. I have not taken any decision yet but I'm open to all possibilities. I do not know where I will play."
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is likely to at least match the £150 million he spent last year on a host of new players after guiding the club to Champions League qualification this season. Reports suggest that he is likely to be in the market for a new striker as well as a a right-back, as well as a goalkeeper if David de Gea decides to join Real Madrid.
There is no doubt that Gundogan is a superb player but his recent history of injuries means there are a few question marks over his head.
The German can be explosive in the middle of the park and is a true box-to-box runner - however in the final defeat against Wolfsburg he was anonymous. Is he the midfielder Manchester United have been crying out for since Paul Scholes retired for the first time? Probably not. Is he an improvement on their current options available for nothing? He is indeed.
Who should Manchester United target - Pogba, Schneiderlin, Gundogan or Schweinsteiger?
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