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Man City’s Gundogan set to join Barcelona: reports

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is set to leave the treble winners to join Barcelona on a free transfer, according to reports on Wednesday.

Gundogan is believed to have been offered a three-year deal by Barcelona and is expected to complete his move to the Spanish champions when his City contract expires at the end of June.

City were reported to have been willing to give their 32-year-old captain a new one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.

But Gundogan’s impending move to the Camp Nou was revealed on the same day City agreed a £30 million ($38 million) deal to sign Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

Kovacic’s versatility and experience would help compensate for the loss of the influential Gundogan, whose leadership and knack for scoring crucial goals played a key role in City’s success in Pep Guardiola’s reign.

Gundogan netted twice in City’s FA Cup final victory over Manchester United this season before Guardiola’s Premier League champions went on to beat Inter Milan in the Champions League final.

The Germany international played 51 games this term, scoring 11 goals including six in his last seven appearances during the tense treble run-in.

City are only the second English side to win all three major trophies in a single season.

Gundogan will be fondly remembered by City fans as one of the understated touchstones of their club’s golden era.

The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder has won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and the Champions League in his seven years at City.

Guardiola was keen to keep Gundogan, who has a close relationship with the City boss after living in the same luxury Manchester apartment block for many years.

But, given Gundogan’s age, City reportedly did not want to match Barcelona’s offer and appear to have taken a pragmatic decision to let him leave.

Arsenal set to sign Chelsea forward Havertz: reports

Arsenal are set to sign Chelsea forward Kai Havertz after reportedly agreeing a £65 million ($82 million) fee for the German on Wednesday.

Havertz will be allowed to discuss contract terms and undergo a medical at Arsenal after their London rivals accepted the lucrative offer.

The 24-year-old has emerged as a top target for the Gunners in recent weeks as they look to improve a squad that finished second in the Premier League last season.

After three inconsistent years with Chelsea, Havertz is on course to become Arsenal’s first signing of the close-season.

It is believed Chelsea’s owners want to avoid letting players enter the final two years of their deals and Havertz, whose contract runs out in 2025, has not agreed an extension.

Mateo Kovacic left Chelsea for treble winners Manchester City on Wednesday, while N’Golo Kante has agreed to sign for Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad.

Having joined Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020, Havertz has scored 19 goals in 91 Premier League appearances.

Despite some erratic finishing and diffident performances at times, Havertz will always have a place in Chelsea fans’ hearts after scoring the winner in their Champions League final victory against Manchester City in 2021.

That was by far the high point of Havertz’s time in west London.

After Chelsea’s dismal form over the last year, featuring nine goals in 47 games for Havertz, the German will hope his impending move across the capital provides a more stable environment to flourish in.

By offering such a substantial fee for Havertz, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has shown be believes the forward is capable of being a key member of his attack on a weekly basis.

Man City agree deal to sign Chelsea’s Kovacic: reports

Manchester City have agreed a £30 million ($38 million) deal with Chelsea to sign midfielder Mateo Kovacic, according to reports on Wednesday.

The treble winners are set to pay an initial £25 million for the 29-year-old Croatia international, with a further £5 million to follow in potential add-ons.

Kovacic, who joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2018, initially on loan, is entering the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

The midfielder is set to become City’s first signing of the summer transfer window and will give manager Pep Guardiola more midfield options at a time when captain Ilkay Gundogan’s future is uncertain.

Gundogan’s contract expires at the end of this month and the Germany international has not yet agreed new terms.

Kovacic, who won the Champions League three times with Real and once with Chelsea, is likely to be one of several departures from the London club as new manager Mauricio Pochettino trims his squad.

Chelsea earlier Wednesday bid farewell to France midfielder N’Golo Kante, who is joining Saudi club Al Ittihad.