The agent of Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has laughed off rumours that he met with Galatasaray to discuss a move away from Barcelona just months after his arrival at the club.
Reports in Turkey claimed that the agent of Gundogan, a German national with Turkish heritage, had met with Galatasaray before their 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich earlier this month to discuss a future transfer for the midfielder.
The story emerged after Gundogan had generated controversy among Barcelona fans for his criticism of the squad after their defeat to Real Madrid, while he was also accused of rejecting the chance to take a team photo at the Ballon d'Or ceremony. There have even been rumours that Gundogan has been left underwhelmed by Barcelona's attempts to help him settle in the city - a story which was denied by his partner Sara.
Keen to set the record straight, Gundogan's agent and brother released a statement (via Mundo Deportivo) to dismiss the links to Galatasaray.
"The news that has appeared in the press in recent days about Ilkay does not reflect the truth," Ilhan Gundogan stressed. "I didn’t meet anyone from Galatasaray before the Bayern Munich game to talk about Ilkay. There was no development, meeting or anything of the sort that came to us in this regard. I want to make this clear.
"Neither I nor Ilkay can understand how this news came about. Ilkay is very happy in Barcelona and is focused on what he wants to achieve there and his goals. "
Gundogan himself recently pledged his allegiance to Barcelona, describing his move to Catalonia as a "dream".
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"For me, the value of Barcelona has always been high," he told Sporx. "Barcelona are completely different.
"It was my dream. I always wanted to play for Barcelona one day. This summer was my chance and I wanted to make it happen."
Manager Xavi played a huge role in convincing Gundogan to move to Barcelona, with the midfielder seeing similarities between his current boss and Manchester City chief Pep Guardiola.
"I have a good relationship with Xavi. I came to Barcelona for him and spoke to him twice before coming on the phone. I think we have great compatibility," he said. "Pep has many years of experience while Xavi is in his fifth season as coach and third in Europe, but their view of football is very similar."
Gundogan also confessed that he recently spoke with Guardiola, revealing: "Recently, I visited Pep Guardiola at his home in Barcelona and we talked. He said that if I or my family needed anything in Barcelona, I could always contact him."