Firstly, let’s clear something up: Bild and Sport Bild are completely separate publications. Often thought of as the same thing, they are in fact different newspapers with different sources.
Both have today chimed in on the İlkay Gündoğan saga, which is most likely going to end up with him at Manchester City. The big question right now is at what cost?
Rory Smith of The Times recently reported that City have made a surprisingly low offer of £13.95 million plus £3.88 million in performance-related add-ons.
City have opened talks over a deal for Ilkay Gundogan (25), telling Dortmund they are willing to pay £13.95m + £3.88m in add-ons. [Times]
— City Watch (@City_Watch) April 26, 2016
The Bilds have not contradicted this and in fact seem to agree that City have offered a fee in that region for the 25-year-old German international. It’s a very low offer, despite Gündoğan having just 12 months left on his Borussia Dortmund deal come this summer. Bild ask ‘Why is the Sheikh being so stingy?’ and Sport Bild call it a ‘poker game’.
Both agree that BVB would accept something in the region of €25 million (£19.4 million) plus add-ons, which appears very reasonable when you consider the extra money coming into the club from the new TV deal and a major Champions League pay out. Dortmund are reportedly aware of this, which is why they are shaking their head at City’s first offer for the gifted midfielder.
The question must be asked: why would City penny-pinch when trying to get such a high quality player? One possibility is that after overpriced deals for the likes of Bony, Mangala and Otamendi, the club no longer want to be seen as a soft touch who will pay anything. Manchester City is long past the point of being a club that only has new-found wealth to attract players. Another idea is that maybe City plan such an expensive overhaul of the squad this summer, they’re trying to get the best deals they can despite swimming in cash.
Bild warn City that if they don’t pay Dortmund’s asking price, Gündoğan will have to join another wealthy club who will, or even see out his contract. The most likely outcome is that the clubs will reach a financial agreement before too long and İlkay Gündoğan will be part of a reshaped City team under the guidance of Pep Guardiola next season.