The ongoing speculations concerning Ilkay Gundogan’s future are rather unnecessary. Given the player’s performance for Manchester City this season, his contract situation should have been resolved already.
Although at the beginning of the season the club was not sure how much longer the player could go performing at the top level, he has exceeded expectations. So far, the midfielder has proved he is still one of the most important members of the squad.
Apart from being a reliable option in midfield especially in the most important games of the season, he has also been getting the goals and assists when necessary. Pep Guardiola has praised him several times for for both his performance and professional conduct.
As captain he provides a mature voice in the dressing room, helping younger players adapt to both the manager’s tactics and the demands of playing for the club. He was the first player signed by Guardiola and has been a trusted ally.
That the 32-year-old is linked with the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal at this point speaks to how valuable he is still considered to be. Rumoured to have demanded a two-year deal to extend his stay at the Etihad Stadium, City will need to meet his demands to keep him.
Otherwise, he will leave for free at the end of the season. City can prevent that and put an end to the speculations by simply offering him the contract and having him sign it as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that.
A contract extension is yet to be agreed. Both the club and player are tight-lipped on whether he will stay or leave.
Two key factors could be responsible for the delay in arriving at a decision. Firstly, the player may have a desire for a new challenge especially with City on the verge of making history this season.
Secondly, the manager’s inability to guarantee regular playing time. Although the German has been in top form this season and was able to feature in 31 Premier League matches, that may not be the case next term. Going elsewhere could prove more appealing as a result.
In the end, both parties may resolve these issues and reach a compromise or decide to end the relationship on a high on conclusion of a historic campaign.