As the summer transfer window approaches, Barcelona have set their sights on Manchester City’s midfielder Ilkay Gundogan as a top target to strengthen their midfield for the upcoming season. The 32-year-old, who currently captains Man City, will become a free agent on June 30 as his contract expires, presenting an enticing opportunity for the Blaugrana to make a move.
However, an intriguing revelation by Xavier Bosch of Mundo Deportivo has shed light on a missed opportunity for Barcelona to secure Gundogan’s services back in 2015. After Barcelona’s triumphant treble-winning season under Luis Enrique, they pursued Gundogan, who was then playing for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
According to the report, a deal had been reached with Borussia Dortmund for a fee of approximately €20 million. The agreement was in place, and Gundogan even underwent a secret medical examination in Germany. However, the presidential elections taking place at Barcelona during that time complicated the transfer, ultimately causing it to collapse.
With the board led by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigning ahead of the elections, a Management Commission chaired by Ramon Adell was responsible for operational decisions until a new president was elected. Under this interim leadership, Barcelona ended up signing Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid for €34 million, while the opportunity to sign Gundogan slipped away.
In retrospect, the signing of Turan turned out to be a significant disappointment for Barcelona, with the Turkish midfielder failing to make the desired impact at Camp Nou. Meanwhile, Gundogan moved to Manchester City a year later and has since flourished into a key figure at the Etihad Stadium, establishing himself as an icon for the club.
Interestingly, this missed opportunity in 2015 wasn’t the only instance where the Barcelona presidential elections affected their chances of signing a Manchester City star. In a recent interview, current Barcelona president Joan Laporta revealed that the same elections also hindered their pursuit of Bernardo Silva, who now plays a crucial role for the English club.
As Barcelona sets their sights on Gundogan once again, they are hoping to rectify their past mistake and bring the talented German midfielder to Camp Nou. His experience, technical ability, and leadership qualities would undoubtedly enhance Barcelona’s midfield unit. However, they must navigate the negotiations effectively and avoid any complications that could hamper the transfer.
The untold story of Barcelona’s failed attempt to sign Ilkay Gundogan in 2015 serves as a reminder of the intricate nature of football transfers and the impact of behind-the-scenes factors. As Barcelona continues their pursuit of the Manchester City maestro, they will be eager to seize this opportunity and make Gundogan a key figure in their midfield, ensuring that history doesn’t repeat itself.