Borussia Dortmund have confirmed that midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will not renew his contract with the Bundesliga club.The Germany international’s current deal expires next summer and although it was widely believed he would not extend his stay at Signal Iduna Park beyond then, it has yet to be confirmed up until now.Last week speculation suggested that Manchester United were ‘closing in’ on his signature for a fee believed to be in the region of €30 million (£22m), before a number of other top European clubs were linked with the midfielder.The German apparently held talks regarding a possible United transfer while David Moyes was in charge at Old Trafford, with the 24-year-old seen as a natural successor to Michael Carrick.It remains to be seen whether Gundogan will follow departing coach Juergen Klopp out of the club at the end of the current Bundesliga campaign, but the German club may look to cash-in rather than letting him go on a free next year, as was the case with former striker Robert Lewandowski.Lewandowski spent four years with Dortmund and notched 74 league goals in 131 matches, though he opted not to sign a new contract and saw out the final year of his deal before joining arch rivals Bayern Munich on a free transfer. MAN UNITED BOUND?It has been widely expected that Gundogan would leave Dortmund this summer, and this news now pretty much confirms it.The German club will not want to let one of their best players leave on a free next summer, especially when they will receive in the region of £20m – £25m for him.The English press went big on the Manchester United rumours and while the hype has died down a bit, with subsequent reports suggesting the earlier ones were premature, the feeling in England is certainly that United are favourites, given he has been a long-term target and they so clearly need a midfielder of that ilk.Arsenal are in the market for someone more defensive (Schneiderlin probably) and they have Ramsey, Wilshere and Cazorla who would play in the Gundogan position. VIEW FROM GERMANY Tobias Hlusiak, Eurosport Germany: This news really isn’t a surprise for anyone following professional football. Gundogan did extend his contract one year ago when he was seriously injured, but only for 365 more days.That made it quite clear what he was up to.Dortmund presented him with a possible contract-extension months ago, but Gundogan never really thought about signing it.So they felt he was leaving. That’s why they already lined up possible replacements in Leverkusen’s Gonzalo Castro and Mainz’ Johannes Geiss. As far as Gundogan’s future is concerned, it has seemed quite certain that he would be going to the Premier league for a long time.But in the last few days more and more rumours about Bayern have emerged. Dortmund fans are afraid of losing their next top-talent to Guardiola’s squad. But my sources say that England is more likely. United seem to be in the driver’s seat.–
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