When Ilkay Gundogan was at Borussia Dortmund and living a mix of injury comebacks and transfer rumours, he twice ran his contract down to having a year left.
He then renewed, twice, but only by a further season, postponing the potential move for another year.
The midfielder held all the power, and knew it. BVB had to somewhat fall in line with what he wanted, rather than risk losing their player for nothing.
Now 28 years of age, he finds himself in a similar position with Manchester City, although there isn’t quite the transfer clamour there once was. That’s not because Gundogan wouldn’t be a wanted player if he was available, but that there’s not really a lot of clubs he could move to who would be considered a step up.
Bild take a look at the situation and explain the player is in no rush to renew, but they sound more optimistic for Manchester City than some other reports.
It’s pointed out that in February, Gundogan told SportBild: “It has now become the rule that there must be a decision for a player who has a year left on their contract: separation or extension. I’m a bit old-fashioned. It’s also possible for me to go into the last year of the contract and then extend it.”
Bild believe the tendency is for Gundogan to stay, and that he’s simply playing renewal games: ‘His hesitation should not be much more than contract poker. A contract extension is probably only a matter of time.’
But will City be as accommodating as BVB were? That’s what Gundogan could be looking for.