On the pitch, things are looking up again for Borussia Dortmund. They defeated Bundesliga champions and rivals, Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the DFP Pokal last week and their injury crisis has somewhat abated, enabling them to climb back up the table to where they belong. However, off the field the club is in tatters. Influential manager, Jurgen Klopp is departing this summer and a whole host of key players are expected to follow him out of the door as Dortmund face a season outside of the UEFA Champions League.
While many of these players haven't announced anything officially, there is one notable exception, that of Ilkay Gundogan, who after confirming that he would not renew his contract with the club, has now confirmed, via Sporting Director Michael Zorc, his intention to leave the club in the summer transfer window.
Now, Gundogan has been linked heavily with a move to Catalunya where he could serve as a replacement of sorts for Xavi Hernandez and we previously brought you the news that Barcelona had started discussions to bring the German international to the Camp Nou. However, with Gundogan confirming his intention to leave this summer, the obvious implications are that FC Barcelona might be excluded from the race for his signature, purely because of the transfer ban imposed by FIFA.
After all, if Gundogan wants to leave this summer, there's simply no way that he can sign and play for FC Barcelona. Can he sign? Yes, he is free to do as he pleases in that respect but with Barca unable to register new players, Gundogan would have to sit out until January -- and after missing a large chunk of the past two seasons through injury, it seems unlikely that Ilkay will willingly waste any more of his career by signing for the Blaugrana.
Stranger things have happened, but it seems like we might miss out on this one. How do you feel about that guys?