Barcelona linked with Ilkay Gundogan & Gabriel Jesus

Tom Gott
Jun 7, 2021, 9:55 AM GMT+1
Barcelona are keeping tabs on two Man City stars
Barcelona are keeping tabs on two Man City stars / Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Barcelona have quickly started putting together a list of alternatives to Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, with Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan one of several names on the radar.

Ronald Koeman had been pushing for Wijnaldum's signing for the past 12 months and looked close to getting his wish, only for Paris Saint-Germain to swoop in and offer the Liverpool man an enormous contract to steal him away at the last second.

The Spanish side have made it clear to Wijnaldum that they are not going to increase their offer for the Dutchman and are already exploring other options. According to Sport, one name high up on the wish list is Gundogan.

Barcelona have been chasing Gundogan ever since 2015, when he underwent a medical at Camp Nou but did not get a transfer over the line. 12 months later, he joined City.

Club officials are keen to reignite their pursuit of the German international, whose contract ends in 2023, and there is some optimism that the good relationship between City and Barcelona could make things easier.

However, it's very hard to believe that City would let Gundogan go. The 30-year-old just enjoyed his best individual campaign since moving to the Etihad and is one of Pep Guardiola's most important players. If he is to leave, it won't be cheap.

Ilkay Gundogan
Guardiola is unlikely to let Gundogan go / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Barcelona seemingly recognise the difficulty in pursuing Gundogan as Catalunya Radio bring back the idea of signing Napoli's Fabian Ruiz, who is named as a 'priority target' for the club this summer.

AS also claim that Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini has been identified as a low-priority target, suggesting the Italian is a backup to the backup plan.

Elsewhere on the pitch, Barcelona are also keeping a close eye on City forward Gabriel Jesus, who has been heavily linked with a move away from the Etihad as part of Guardiola's search for a new big-name striker.

Gabriel Jesus
Jesus is also on the radar / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Barcelona have already signed former City teammate Sergio Aguero and are closing in on Lyon's Memphis Depay, so there doesn't seem to be much space for Jesus at Camp Nou. It's suggested that Barcelona are interested in the Brazilian but aren't prepared to move heaven and earth for him.

Whether any deals with City will happen remains to be seen. After all, Sport are the outlet who are constantly peddling the idea of a swap deal between Aymeric Laporte and Sergi Roberto, so there is a real clutching-at-straws vibe to this.

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