It was an open secret, now it's official: The German national player Ilkay Gündogan is moving from Manchester City to FC Barcelona on a free transfer: The reigning Spanish champions announced the signing of the 32-year-old on Monday. Gündogan had recently won the triple of English championship, cup win and Champions League triumph with Manchester City.
He gets a two-year contract with FC Barcelona until June 30, 2025 with the option for another season. According to the Catalans, the fixed transfer fee is 400 million euros. He switched from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City in the summer of 2016.
"It has been a pleasure and a privilege for me to have been part of Manchester City over the past few years," said Gündogan, who crowned his time at the club with coach Pep Guardiola as captain by winning the European premier league. "This club has made all my dreams come true and I will be eternally grateful for this opportunity," Gündogan said in a statement from Manchester City.
Barcelona coach Xavi in particular is said to have convinced him to move to the Catalans. At Barça, Gündogan is now playing again with his former BVB colleague Robert Lewandowski.
Gündogan left his old club in the most successful phase of the club's history. Under Guardiola, he was only allowed to lift the Champions League trophy as captain almost two weeks ago - after winning the championship and the cup, it was the Cityzens' third title this season. "Rarely have I woken up so happy in my life," said the former Dortmund player after the 1-0 win over Inter Milan. "Anyone who has followed my path knows how long I have been chasing this title."
A final in his favorite competition in his parents' home country, and as captain of his team - the game in Istanbul was without a doubt something very special for Gündogan. And, as everyone now knows, the right parting gift.
Guardiola would have liked to see his captain in the light blue city jersey. Gündogan is "insanely clever" as a playmaker and also has an "incredible personality", the 52-year-old had already judged before the Champions League final.
The fact that he and not a superstar like Erling Haaland or Kevin De Bruyne was elected captain before the season made him proud, said Gündogan. It is also "an award for my character", because he is "not a big fan of actionism". The 1-0 win against Inter proved that his patience paid off in the end - the native of Nuremberg had previously suffered two final defeats with Borussia Dortmund (2013) and Manchester City (2021).
With the farewell, Gündogan's most successful chapter of his career to date closes. In 2016 he moved from BVB to Manchester. With the Cityzens, he won the Champions League once in seven years, was champion five times and won the cup twice. A record that they also dream of a little in Barcelona.