Manchester City have made Ilkay Gundogan the latest target of their contract extension crusade, but it seems as if the German is having second thoughts due to fears surrounding his long-term standing in the squad. 

The 28-year-old has been a regular in all competitions so far this season, with Fernandinho's recurring injury issues making him an indispensable member of the squad given his holding midfield capabilities. 


With his contract up in 2020, Goal report that his current importance to the side means that City are keen to make him the latest in a long line of players to put pen to paper on new terms, but the player has put talks on hold due to uncertainty over his future playing time. 

It's possible that he sees Fernandinho's pending return compounded with City's determination to add a new central midfielder to the squad - their failure to land Jorginho in the summer sparking links with Adrien Rabiot and Tanguy Ndombele - as a threat to his prospects going forward.

Should he leave the Etihad, a return to Borussia Dortmund - from whom he signed for City for £24m back in 2016 - has been mentioned as recently as last month


Speculation doesn't seem likely to deter City, however, as they have shown in the past they are happy to play the long game in negotiations. 

While the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva wasted little time on putting pen to paper, talks with Leroy Sane have been ongoing since the summer, with the ball being left in the player's court for much of that time. 

Losing Gundogan on a free in a little over a year will likely be a concern of Guardiola's, but with the financial muscle they have to throw around, finding a replacement, should the need arise, isn't likely to be beyond the Premier League champions.