Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is once again being linked with a move to the Premier League.
Arsenal and Manchester United are both reported to be considering £16million bids for Gundogan, either in the January transfer window or at the end of the season.
And, for once, the speculation doesn’t appear to be an attempt from a player, or his representative, to elicit a new contract out of his club.
Instead, the rumours of a transfer for Gundogan are stemming from reports that Dortmund have issued the Germany international with an ultimatum – either sign a new contract or leave by the summer.
Gundogan, who missed the 2013/14 season with a back injury and only returned to action in October, is out of contract in the summer of 2016.
Dortmund don’t want to risk another situation which occurred with Robert Lewandowski after the Polish striker left the club to join Bayern Munich on a free transfer last year.
The club’s sporting director Michael Zorc expects talks to take place over a new deal in the next few weeks and he wants the 24-year-old to stay at the club.
You can understand why Dortmund want a quick decision from Gundogan. Yet could the Bundesliga club really let him go this month?
Jurgen Klopp’s side are second bottom in the table after a wretched first half of the season and surely need Gundogan’s midfield prowess to guide them clear of trouble.
He scored the only goal in the win over Hoffenheim in early December and will certainly be a key figure when the Bundesliga resumes after the winter break.
Dortmund may be 17th in the table, but they are only 12 points off the top four, that is not a forlorn ambition, especially if Gundogan, along with team-mates Mats Hummels and Marco Reus, stays at the club.
At the same time, reports in Germany claim Gundogan doesn’t want to sign a new contract and is interested in a move to the Premier League.
He was previously wanted by Real Madrid and he has, in the past, spoken of a wish to play abroad.
“Playing outside Germany is one of my big goals,” said Gundogan. “If one day I leave here, I’d like to play in Spain or for one of the big teams in England.”
At £16million, Gundogan would be a bargain, either now or in the summer, and he would be an upgrade on the midfielders either at Arsenal or United.
Capable of sitting in a deep-lying midfield role or slightly more advanced, Gundogan can dictate a game with his excellent range of passing.
Persuading Dortmund to sell now will be tricky, especially as Gundogan may feel there is unfinished business after missing last season and due to their current predicament.
But, if he doesn’t sign a new contract, then he would be a welcome addition to the Premier League, whether it is Arsenal or United who sign him.