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Premier League

Gundogan "open minded" about new challenge away from City

Ilkay Gundogan is still discussing a contract extension at Manchester City, but he cannot offer any guarantees over his future.

Gundogan "open minded" about new challenge away from City
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Ilkay Gundogan has suggested he could seek a new challenge away from Manchester City, although he insists he is happy playing for the club.

New challenge ahead for Gundogan?

The Germany international's contract expires at the end of the season and he has yet to agree to an extension.

Manager Pep Guardiola stated at the weekend that he wants Gundogan to stay, but only if the player himself feels truly committed to the team.

Gundogan says talks are ongoing, but he is refusing to offer any guarantees over his future.

"There is no decision yet, otherwise I would have signed. I'd say we are still in talks but I don't feel much pressure," he told a news conference ahead of Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Schalke.

"This is something everyone has to decided for themselves. I am 28 years old - my next contract will maybe decide where I will be until the end of my career.

"Everyone feels different, maybe someone feels like a new challenge or to change something. I am always open-minded for challenges. It's a personal situation. It's not obvious, but everyone has to make their own decision.

"At the moment I try to play as good as possible and I guess after the season we will sit and talk again. My main target at the moment is to go for all the competitions and be successful. 

"In the last few years especially, after coming here with a big injury, I have proved that I can play in England for more than two or three years. That shouldn't be an issue at all."

Gundogan is expected to be involved on Tuesday, when City will look to reach the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Schalke.

Guardiola's side remain course for an unprecedented quadruple this season and are expected to overcome a team who are 14th in the Bundesliga, especially as they won the first leg in Germany 3-2.

Gundogan thinks City have improved upon last term's form, but he is wary of taking Schalke lightly.

"In terms of numbers I think we have already proven we are better than last season, but nothing is won yet," he said. "Now there are just two and a half months to go - that is not long until the season ends. The upcoming weeks will be crucial.

"I think we saw in the first leg, because Schalke don't have anything to lose, they can be very dangerous. It's also down to them that they got into the game and a warning for tomorrow's game.

"We'll try to play our game as we have done in recent weeks and then push our game through and don't give Schalke any chances but they are in this part of the competition. Hopefully, we'll be on our game and play with our style and then I do believe we can win the game."


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