FC Barcelona have announced the signing of former Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan.
The La Liga champions first teased the transfer by initially posting a six second clip spelling out the word “ANNOUNCE”.
Given that the ‘U’ was eventually shown to have dot-like German umlauts over it, as Gundogan’s name does too, it became obvious that Barca were set to announce the 32-year-old as their newest signing.
In quick succession, Barca posted a second clip which was much clearer. It showed the back of their new home jersey for the 2023/2024 season, with Gundogan’s name across its shoulders.
Then, in a third tweet, Barca produced a photoshopped picture of Gundogan celebrating a goal in the jersey with the word “welcome” written in English, Catalan, and Castellano (Spanish).
Gundogan is believed to be Barca’s second signing of the summer after soon-to-be former Athletic Club defender Inigo Martinez.
What cannot be disputed is that Gundogan is the first of the off-season to be announced for the first team, however, which he joins as a Champions League winner fresh off the back of a historic treble-winning campaign in Manchester.
Gundogan reportedly rejected a contract extension from City to join Barca, who have offered him a two-year deal with the option to stay for another additional season providing he plays in at least 60% of the games on offer in 2024/2025.
Gundogan’s terms come with a €400 million ($436 million) release clause guaranteed to stave off interest from other European rivals.
The midfielder has proven he can still perform at the highest level through top displays on the continent and in England, where he scored a double against Manchester United in the FA Cup final earlier this month.
Gundogan hasn’t been assigned a number yet, but he is pretty much guaranteed to be a starter in manager Xavi Hernandez’s midfield alongside the likes of Pedri and Frenkie de Jong.
With Sergio Busquets set to leave the club this week, Xavi would still like a more defensive “pivot” in the center of the park and has thus far been unsuccessful in finding one.
As the transfer window doesn’t officially open for another few days, there is plenty of time to find a successor to skipper ‘Busi’ set for Inter Miami.