Ilkay Gundogan considering Borussia Dortmund contract extension - agent
Ilkay Gundogan now appears likely to sign a contract extension at Borussia Dortmund.
Dortmund had announced at the end of April that Gundogan, whose current deal ends in 2016, was set to leave the club after he told them he had decided against signing an extension.
However, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said last week that they were keeping an open mind on the Germany international's future, and the club's CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, has now told Suddeutsche Zeitung: "There is a certain chance that Gundogan will renew his contract at BVB."
The newspaper also spoke to Ilkay Gundogan's uncle and agent, Ilhan, about the prospect of the midfielder prolonging his deal.
"If you had asked me last week I would have said that Ilkay will certainly leave Dortmund this summer, but now it is clearly an option to sign a new contract at Borussia," Ilhan Gundogan said, while confirming that his nephew had held a long phone conversation with new Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel.
"This was a very good discussion," he added. "Tuchel's plans for Borussia are so exciting that Ilkay is pondering them at the moment."
He also confirmed that negotiations with Dortmund will start shortly after the player's return from his holiday in Asia next weekend. Gundogan had visited teammate Shinji Kagawa in Tokyo and has since travelled to Hong Kong.
Gundogan had been linked with Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich earlier this summer, but it was reported that his €10 million wage demands had cooled the Bundesliga giants' interest.
The 24-year-old had already played down those suggestions and his uncle has now said: "We did not talk to Bayern about money at all. There was no wage demand from our side. We are in no position to make any demands at a club like Bayern Munich."
Suddeutsche reports that there might be another reason Bayern dropped out of the race to sign Gundogan.
The newspaper cites "Bayern insiders" claiming that the German champions' sporting director Matthias Sammer and technical director Michael Reschke wanted to sign Gundogan, but CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge objected to the transfer.
The report also said that Bayern had suggested to Gundogan that he should stay at Dortmund to see out his contract and join them on a free transfer in 2016.
Ilhan Gundogan, though, said: "We would have never done that. There was no question about Dortmund deserving a transfer fee as a token of gratitude."
Borussia Dortmund renewed Gundogan's contract in 2014 when it was uncertain if he would fully recover from the back injury that sidelined him for 14 months.
The midfielder has still yet to recover his best form since returning to action in October, and his uncle said: "It might be easier for Ilkay to reach his old level in a pleasant environment that he already knows."
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Meanwhile, Dortmund may have to consider selling other members of the squad this summer, with Zorc having said they plan to "spend no more than we earn this summer" after missing out on Champions League qualification.
Former Torino striker Ciro Immobile has been linked with a return to Serie A at Napoli, while Bild reported on Tuesday that Arsenal are preparing a €40 million bid for 26-year-old forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Bild said that Aubameyang, who joined BVB from St Etienne in 2013, is also attracting interest from Chelsea and Manchester City after a season in which he scored 25 goals in all competitions.