According to reports from German media outlet Der Westen, Manchester United are close to securing the services of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan for €30m. Sky Sports too have confirmed the news and it now appears that the deal is as good as done.
BREAKING: Sky Sources: Manchester United close to agreeing deal to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan in the summer #SSNHQ
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) April 24, 2015
With Jurgen Klopp set to leave at the end of the season, this summer could see a number of stars leaving Dortmund to pursue their career elsewhere. Gundogan’s contract with the German outfit was about to expire at the end of next season and United have rightly jumped at the opportunity to sign a player who was yet to pen a new contract at Signal Iduna Park.
Here are the three reasons why Gundogan is the right choice for the Red Devils:
Prime Contender to replace Michael Carrick in the long term: With Carrick on the wrong side of 30, Gundogan will surely take up the mantle from the Englishman in the coming years thanks to his incredible passing range and the ability to dictate the pace at which United play.
Gundogan earlier made his presence felt playing as a number 10 with Nurnberg but Klopp preferred him as a deep lying midfielder at Dortmund, the same role which Carrick has been featuring for United over the past decade.
Reports from the Daily Mail suggest that Gundogan has been watched by United scouts for a significant period now and Van Gaal would thus be sure to secure the services of a player whose quality he trusts and more importantly will fit in easily.
World Class talent in his prime despite injury concerns: Gundogan has had fitness problems before, having spent a year on the sidelines with a back injury but it now appears that he has put those concerns behind him. United were also linked with Arturo Vidal and Kevin Strootman but pulled the plug over the duo after their repeated injuries.
Moreover, Gundogan is just 24 and has his best years ahead of him. Should he adjust to the Premier League, he will be a real asset for United and even if he fails to adapt, United will get a substantial figure from his sale if required.
Fits in Louis Van Gaal’s system: Throughout his distinguished managerial career, Van Gaal has always preferred players who are versatile and are capable of playing in a number of different positions. Gundogan is capable in playing in a double pivot in the 4-2-3-1 setup and also as a deep lying regista in the 4-3-3 system.
Another interesting feature in his game play is donning the English way of playing as a box to box midfielder. Not exactly as a destroyer of the opposition attacks, Gundogan would easily tuck in the base in the midfield giving Ander Herrera and Juan Mata the territorial freedom to play freely up front.
Though its early to say but as Carrick took over from Paul Scholes, Gundogan would be an able replacement for Carrick and splashing out €30m for the German international seems good business by the United hierarchy.