Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has revealed that he would like to one day move into management having worked with some of the best coaches in football.
The Germany international is in the best form of his life under Pep Guardiola, helping City move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand.
Gundogan remains focused on his playing career, with the 30-year-old an integral part of City’s squad as they chase trophies in four competitions, but says he has considered coaching as his next move.
How did he learn from the best?
Jurgen Klopp signed Gundogan for Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund in 2011 and he helped them win the German double in his first season before reaching the Champions League the year after.
When Klopp left to join Liverpool, he was replaced by Thomas Tuchel and the pair worked together for a year at Signal Iduna Park.
Gundogan switched to City in 2016, becoming Guardiola’s first signing at Etihad Stadium and going on to win two Premier League titles and four domestic trophies.
How seriously is Gundogan considering management?
"Some time ago, I asked around for some information on how the procedure would work if I were to take a trainer's licence one day. In that sense, it's more than just a thought,” he told Goal and SPOX. “But how I would like to orient myself then, my thoughts are not yet that far.
“The fact is that with Pep, Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, I've had pretty much the best coaches in club football so far. You learn a lot and think about how you can pass on this knowledge after your career."
Why is Guardiola so special?
Gundogan has been impressed with the way that the City boss has been able to get his team back into the title race when it has been suggested that his management style can only have a short-term impact.
City finished 18 points behind Klopp's Liverpool last season but Guardiola's has turned around his side this season, embarking on a record-breaking 16-match winning streak.
“I was injured at first but then I joined a team that you thought had been playing this Pep football for years,” he said. “The speed with which he can communicate his football tactically to the team is impressive. That was also the case at Bayern [Munich] back then.
“At the same time, it's also this season, because he still acts with such motivation in every training session. There was always talk that Pep was only a coach for a maximum of three years - at the moment we see that these critics were wrong."
What else has impressed Gundogan?
Guardiola came under intense pressure to give Academy product Phil Foden more game time when the 20-year-old broke into the first team as a teenager, but his burgeoning career has been carefully nurtured by the City boss, and now with more than 100 appearances for the club, Foden has become a key member of the squad.
"There was also some criticism from different directions for his handling of Phil Foden,” Gundogan said. “Pep publicly emphasised his qualities very early on but his game time was still relatively small at the beginning.
“This season, however, we see that this was exactly the right way to go. Pep was very keen on him at all times, especially in training.
“At the moment, Phil is playing an extremely important role in the team. He was one of our best players against Liverpool. He is getting better and better.
“Pep has brought him in slowly and carefully and has not let other views influence him. At the moment, we are all happy in the team to have such a top European talent in our ranks."