Premier League

President of European giants reveals ‘dream’ to sign Barcelona star

Ilkay Gundogan

Galatasaray’s club president has revealed he is keen to bring Ilkay Gundogan to Turkey to bolster their squad for next season’s Champions League, admitting the Germany international would be a “dream signing”.

The midfielder was one of Barcelona’s most consistent players during a disappointing season which ended with manager Xavi being given the boot and replaced in the dugout by former Bayern Munich and Germany boss Hansi Flick.

Gundogan, who moved to Catalonia on a free transfer after his contract with Manchester City expired, contributed nine assists in La Liga alongside five goals as Barca finished second, ten points behind champions Real Madrid.

Over in Turkey, Galatasaray won the Super Lig after recording 102 points, though they still only just pipped rivals Fenerbahce to the title.

The Istanbul-based side finished third in their Champions League group in 2023/24, earning a memorable 3-2 win away at Manchester United before dropping into the Europa League, where they were eliminated in the knockout play-off round by Sparta Prague.

Their squad already boasts the likes of Mauro Icardi, Dries Mertens, Wilfried Zaha, Hakim Ziyech and Lucas Torreira, but president Dursun Ozbek has admitted there is one player in particular he has coveted for a long time.

He said: “We need to sign about three players to compete in the Champions League. Maybe it’s time to try to complete my dream signing: Ilkay Gundogan.”

Ilkay Gundogan

Gundogan enjoyed a productive first season at Barca / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Gundogan was born in Germany to Turkish parents and attracted controversy when he acknowledged Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “my president” during a meeting with fellow Premier League stars Mesut Ozil and Cenk Tosun in May 2018.

Barca are expected to attempt to offload a number of players during the summer transfer window and Gundogan has not been named in reports listing the stars the club consider ‘non-transferable’.

The Catalan giants also reportedly need to ditch players in order to register Flick as their new manager for next season.

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