Man City agree £30m deal for Mateo Kovačić as Ilkay Gündogan prepares to leave for Barcelona

As one Champions League winner leaves, another one arrives.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 22nd June 2023

Manchester City look to have got their transfer business underway this summer as they have reportedly agreed a deal with Chelsea to sign Mateo Kovačić just as outgoing captain Ilkay Gündogan prepares to leave the club after seven years.

There had been rumblings that both Gündogan and Bernardo Silva would be departing Man City at the end of the season and while there has been no more movement on the 28-year-old Portuguese international, it is reported his midfield partner has sealed a move to La Liga at the end of his contract.

Donning the armband and helping the club lift not on their first Champions League trophy but complete the treble this past season, they couldn’t have asked for a better parting gift.

With the Euro 2024 qualifiers now over, the 32-year-old is set to be unveiled as a Barca player imminently, joining the Spanish giants on a two-year deal with an option for another year.

City fans will no doubt be gutted to see Gündogan, having been one of their best players for the past couple of seasons, the board aren’t wasting any time in plugging the gaps (not that there really are any in that squad) as Pep Guardiola looks to have already found his replacement.


As Chelsea look to be off-loading a number of players to balance the books and restore some equilibrium following a campaign that was defined by too many signings and too few points, a key player in their own Champions League winning season, Mateo Kovačić, looks to be one of the first out the door.

The 29-year-old former Real Madrid man has won the UCL a total of four times, as well as winning the league in Spain and Croatia, not to mention multiple Supercups and Club World Cups, which makes a reported £30m deal and even better bargain.


Better still, he’s about as like-for-like a replacement as you could hope for, playing a very similar shuttling role as Gündogan has for the last few years, able to play further forward in the number 10 role and also as a defensive midfielder if needed.

As Gündogan heads to Barcelona, Man City have an immediate replacement in Kovačić.

Read more:

It looks to be a deal that suits everyone all-round and while City are obviously loving a fan-favourite of great talent, you wouldn’t see many people turn their nose up at signing Kovačić for under £50m.

It goes without saying that there aren’t many more players City actually need, but with the Blues reportedly set for the “biggest transfer budget in history“, we expect this won’t be the last bit of business they do.


Who would you like to see make the move to the Etihad?

For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Image — Ilkay Gündogan (via Instagram)/Mateo Kovačić (via Instagram)