Over the last few days, reports have been gathering pace linking Arsenal with £15.6m move for Borussia Dortmund’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
But is there any truth beneath the rumours?
On paper at least, Gundogan fits the Arsenal profile. He is technically strong and at an age where he could still improve (24).
His contract is due to expire next year and it doesn’t look like he is going to be renewing his deal. That, therefore, makes him available and puts Arsenal in a strong negotiating position from the start, the sort of situation that only Arsenal could mess up.
When you also take into account that he is just coming back after being seriously injured for over a year (but had a good injury record before that) and the fact that he is not really the defensive kind of player that Arsenal need (yet they collect) you start to realise that he would probably fit in perfectly.
So far so good then.
But let’s just check the paper trail to make sure.
On Tuesday morning, the Metro kicked it all off by publishing an article suggesting that Arsenal have made a £25m offer for Gundogan.
Quite where the £25m offer part comes in I don’t know as I haven’t seen that figure being mentioned anywhere else and there is no mention of it again in the article.
Tuesday’s article points to a new report as the source that suggests that Arsenal have made a £15.6m offer for Gundogan and that Arsenal and Dortmund will sit down and discuss terms.
The problem however is that when you look at this new report, it lists its source as the Daily Mirror. And the article? Yep – the original article from the Daily Mirror. Which means that the Metro have actually just recycled (and then seemingly invented bits of) the entire story.
The original Mirror report does make for an interesting read and is probably a relatively realistic article in terms of how the situation stands at present.
Arsene Wenger is aware of Gundogan’s availability, likes him as a player and is interested in making a move, yet he is likely also wary of the fact that Gundogan is just returning from over a year out and the last thing we need is a player keeping Abou Diaby company in the medical wing.
The Mirror also mentions that Gundogan is Arsenal’s first choice defensive midfield target but as that has been said about a number of players and as I already mentioned Gundogan isn’t particularly defensive so I’m not quite convinced that’s true.
That being said, I’m sure Wenger signing a not-really-defensive midfielder to play as a defensive midfielder wouldn’t really surprise anyone.
Don’t get me wrong, Arsenal may well sign Gundogan. But if it happens I don’t think it will be until the summer when he has proven his fitness and Dortmund have avoided relegation.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that congested as the Arsenal midfield is now, a number of contracts are expiring in the summer and new faces will be likely be coming in.
Gundogan has made 96 appearances for Dortmund, scoring 10 times and providing 11 assists.