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Pep Guardiola says £140,000-a-week Arsenal target is his ‘close friend’

Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move to sign Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan this summer, and Pep Guardiola has revealed that the midfielder is one of his close friends.

The German was the star of the show in the FA Cup final today. He scored twice to help City beat Manchester United, and the big talking point after the game was about his future.

Gundogan‘s current £140,000-a-week (Spotrac) contract will expire in less than a month’s time. Guardiola had his say on the situation after the final at Wembley today.

Pep Guardiola Ilkay Gundogan
Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola says Arsenal target Ilkay Gundogan is his ‘close friend’

The Athletic revealed just over a week ago that Arsenal are interested in signing Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer from Manchester City this summer.

Mikel Arteta worked with the Germany international during his time as an assistant at the Etihad, and he’s keen to use their relationship to lure him in – just like he did with Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko last year.

Pep Guardiola was happy to let those two players leave City and join Arsenal, but he’s desperate to keep hold of Gundogan, a player he claims is one of his closest mates.

After the FA Cup final today, Guardiola was asked about the midfielder and he revealed that the two are actually neighbours. He also claimed that he’s hoping Gundogan will stay at City.

He said in his press conference, as relayed on Hayters TV: “He knows what I think. Maybe someone of you know, we are neighbours, we live on the same floor. For many years, he’s a close friend of mine.

“As a player, he’s exceptional. Hopefully, we can finish in a good way. Txiki [Begiristain, City’s director of football] is working and hopefully, we can do it, because this season (what) he has done is exceptional.

“Don’t forget (against) Aston Villa – the two goals he scored. This season he scored many many times he scored important goals.”

Pep Guardiola Ilkay Gundogan
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

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Gundogan was absolutely outstanding for City against Manchester United in the FA Cup final today.

The German scored a stunner just 12 seconds into the game, and he then doubled his tally in the second half to help his side win the cup and keep their treble dreams alive.

The focus now for Gundogan and Manchester City is the Champions League final next weekend. After that, the German will have to make a decision on his future, and Arsenal will surely be keeping a close eye.

If Mikel Arteta can get him, it would be a real statement ahead of the new season.

Pep Guardiola Ilkay Gundogan
Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

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