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Official: Barcelona complete first signing of the summer transfer window

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The LaLiga champions have confirmed their first new signing of the 2023 summer transfer window.

Ilkay Gundogan has signed a two-year deal with Barcelona, with the option for a third year. His contract includes a buyout clause of €400 million.

The Germany international arrives on a free transfer following a seven-year spell with Manchester City, where he captained the team to a treble and won five Premier League titles. He heads to Barcelona to add depth and goals to midfield after they missed out on Lionel Messi, who plans to join Inter Miami CF instead.

Gundogan, who scored 11 goals in 51 appearances this season, will be a great addition to Barca’s midfield, working alongside Frenkie de Jong, Gavi, Franck Kessie, and Sergi Roberto. The 32-year-old is confident that he has a few more years left at the highest level, and he just wants to help bring Barcelona back to where they deserve to be.

“If I was going to move, there is only one club in the world that made sense. It was Barcelona or nothing,” Gundogan wrote in the Players’ Tribune. “Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of wearing that shirt someday. I am happy to say that I’m leaving Manchester City as a champion, and I have nothing but love for the club in my heart.”

Gundogan’s signing is the Catalan club’s first of the summer. Xavi Hernandez has been keen to strengthen his side in the final third. The manager felt performance levels in the squad dropped without Pedri last season.

“When Xavi and I talked about the project, it just seemed so natural. I see so many similarities between us as characters and in the way we see the game,” Gundogan said of Xavi.