Protracted is probably the best way to describe Ilkay Gundogan’s mooted move to the Premier League, but a changing of the guard at Manchester City could be the speculation-ending clincher.
The Manchester Evening News suggests Gundogan is ‘on the verge’ after Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel refused to deny the transfer was happening.
Tuchel said: “I can’t confirm the transfer”, which can easily be construed as proof the deal is set to go through.
The only real surprise is that a switch to the Premier League has taken so long for the Germany international, with the gossip columns first filling up in the wake of Dortmund’s Champions League near miss at the end of the 2012/13 season.
In terms of catalysts, Pep Guardiola’s imminent arrival as the Man City manager must be cited as the chief one.
Guardiola’s three-season stint at Dortmund’s big Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich can only have made a good impression on the Gelsenkirchen export.
FC Hollywood are on course to land their third successive German crown of the Spaniard’s tenure as he also looks to sign off in style with the coveted treble, containing the holy grail of the Champions League.
Gundogan’s likely admiration for Guardiola will be enhanced by the fact the legendary Barcelona figure is fluent in his native tongue.
When moving to any foreign league, ease of communication with the manager is a great stepping stone towards settling in.
The Dortmund midfielder’s potential arrival at City is exactly the calibre of signing the Citizens, rated as the 8/5 favourites to land the title next season, will be expecting from Manuel Pellegrini’s successor.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.