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Jan 29, 2013

Gundogan staying at Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has told kicker he has no plans to leave the German champions anytime soon, despite interest from other sides.

Ilkay Gundogan celebrates the only goal - an own goal - in Dortmund's cup semi-final
Ilkay Gundogan has competition for his place at Dortmund from Nuri Sahin

Germany international Gundogan, 22, was the heartbeat of Dortmund’s 3-0 over Nurnberg last Friday, racking up a 93% pass completion rate. The Gelsenkirchen-born defensive midfielder orchestrated the match and has no plans to show his talent other than at Dortmund anytime soon.

“I know there was an offer for me,” Gundogan said. “But who put in the offer was of no big interest to me.”

In October reports had linked him with a transfer to Premier League, with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur believed to be interested in the midfielder who is contracted at Dortmund until 2015.

“2015 is not the day after tomorrow. There is no need to start talking now,” he said about a possible contract extension. “But this does not mean I could not imagine staying at Dortmund after 2015.”

Gundogan has countered Oliver Kahn’s claims that Pep Guardiola’s arrival at Bayern Munich will extend their supremacy in Germany insisting Dortmund, winners of the last two Bundesliga titles, won’t roll over easily.

“We also have a world-class coach,” he said. “And a well-tuned squad, who has shown they can stand up to Bayern when facing them. We want to permanently become Germany’s second big force.”

Despite Nuri Sahin’s arrival at Dortmund during this transfer window, Gundogan is currently ahead in the pecking order but welcomes the competition as healthy.

“I was rather surprised at the beginning,” he said of the midfielder’s return from Real Madrid. “We have a strong and broad defensive midfield.”

“Sahin is an outstanding, intelligent footballer, who can play great passes. I am convinced he can improve us on and off the pitch. He fits perfectly and makes us more flexible.

“His arrival means even bigger competition. Who wants to start has to show even more. But the main reason for my good games is another one: I am up to scratch.” 

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