'I nearly joined Bayern Munich instead of Man City' - Gundogan

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Gundogan left Borussia Dortmund, with whom he reached the 2013 Champions League final, in order to join City in 2016

Ilkay Gundogan says that he came close to joining Bayern around the time of his £21m (€23m/$25m) transfer to Manchester City.

Gundogan left Borussia Dortmund, with whom he reached the 2013 Champions League final, in order to join City in 2016.

The Germany international scored for Jurgen Klopp’s team in the 2-1 defeat at Wembley as Bayern Munich picked up the European Cup trophy for the first time since 2001.

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And now he has revealed that he was in talks to join the Bundesliga champions when they were under the stewardship of current City boss Pep Guardiola shortly before the pair arrived at the Etihad Stadium.

"Let's put it this way - my sources would confirm that, today I say that frankly there were at times talks with Bayern Munich,” Gundogan told SZ. “But we did not come together for different reasons.

“And now I am very happy with Man City, I do not think there is a club I would be better off with at the moment and not a better coach either."
 
Asked about his relationship with fans of the German national team, the City midfielder said that he can understand why, with so many recent absences due to injury, supporters have become lukewarm towards him in a Germany shirt.

"Yes, I feel a little underrated,” he said. “But I also understand that I just missed too much. People in the national team are watching the tournaments, and I only played twice at the European Championship in 2012 and the 2018 World Cup. 

“There's only room for two central midfielders, with Joshua Kimmich as the defensive part and Toni Kroos as the offensive right now," Gundogan said. "I think I have the quality to help the team even more."

Gundogan missed nine months of action for City after sustaining a knee injury in a collision with Watford’s Nordin Amrabat in December 2016, not long after arriving in the Premier League.

He finally made his return to action in September the following year and starred as City won the 2018 and 2019 titles.

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