Transfer news: Ilkay Gundogan to decide future in 'a matter of weeks' amid Manchester United and Arsenal interest
Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been linked with a move to Europe's best clubs but he has not played since August due to a back injury
Thursday 27 March 2014
Manchester United and Arsenal target İlkay Gündoğan’s future will be decided in the next few weeks, according to Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Gündoğan’s contract is due to expire next summer and although the midfielder is currently battling back from injury, he has been linked with an exit from the Westfalenstadion at the end of the season.
The 23-year-old has been ruled out with a back injury since August and although a number of leading clubs in Europe are keen on his signing, a comeback date is yet to be set – which could ultimately cost him a place in Germany’s World Cup squad for Brazil 2014.
Speaking to Reuters, Watzke said: “On whether he will compete in the World Cup, I am not the one to give out reliable forecasts.
“We will not speculate about when he will come back. We are convinced he will be healthy but we cannot measure this in terms of weeks or months.”
“As for the contract, it will not be a long, dragged-out affair. I think it is not going to be more than a matter of weeks.”
Gündoğan has so far stalled on signing a new deal, with Dortmund’s hierarchy keen to tie the midfielder down to a long-term deal in an effort to prevent the recent poaching of their best talents. The club are also keen to keep defender Mats Hummels and attacking midfielder Marco Reus out of the grasps of their European rivals, having seen star names such as Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski – who will go at the end of the season – depart for rivals Bayern Munich.
However, Watzke believes that Dortmund are now in a much stronger financial position to compete with the best in Europe, which says a lot considering they finished last season as runners-up in both the Champions League and Bundesliga.
“We are growing, we are getting stronger financially,” Watzke stressed. “We are the undisputed number two in Germany and will remain that in the coming years.
Referencing their predicted financial results for this season, Watzke said: “We could be a bit above what we had estimated at around 250 million euros (in turnover).
“Last year (2012-13) we had around 300 million with the transfers and minus the transfers we expect to be around the 250 million if not a bit above that for 2013-14.”
Watzke also went on to confirm that the club have identified more than one target to replace Lewandowski, who will leave on a free transfer after running down his contract to the end of the season.
“We will not be commenting on specific names,” he said. “But we do have not just one player but several players in our sights we are eager to sign.”
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