Barcelona are desperately looking for low-cost options for the coming three transfer windows, as they attempt to work within the La Liga salary limit. It means that free transfers will likely be a key part of their transfer strategy in the coming months.
After Jorginho and Ngolo Kante, Ilkay Gundogan had become one of the names most frequently linked with a move to Barcelona. The German midfielder is out of contract next summer and seemingly was identified by Xavi Hernandez as an option to substitute Sergio Busquets, should the Catalan leave.
Manchester City are keen to renew Gundogan on a short-term deal, but would accept a departure if that was his decision,
However according to Fichajes.net (via MD), Gundogan is keen to renew his deal with Pep Guardiola’s side. Knowing that Barcelona were interested, he evaluated the option, but has since decided he would be better off in Manchester.
It leaves Barcelona once again ruminating on how exactly to bring in a quality replacement for Sergio Busquets. Short of moving Frenkie de Jong into that role, it seems unlikely that Xavi will have a top quality replacement for Busquets next summer. That might explain why Xavi is very much open to retaining Busquets next season.