Gundogan is like a modern Xavi and would be perfect for Barcelona, says Riedle

EXCLUSIVE: The ex-Germany international says it would be a pity for Dortmund to lose the midfielder but has backed him to fit in perfectly at the Champions League finalists
By Stefan Doring
Former Borussia Dortmund star Karl-Heinz Riedle believes Ilkay Gundogan would be the perfect signing for Barcelona amid ongoing rumours that the Catalans are keen to sign the Germany international. 

The 24-year-old recently announced that he will not extend his current contract with BVB - which is due to expire in June 2016 - and he is widely expected to leave the Signal Iduna Park outfit this summer.

Gundogan hinted last month that Barcelona and Bayern Munich could be potential destinations for him, while Manchester United have also shown an interest in luring him away from the DFB-Pokal runners-up.

Riedle has little doubt the gifted midfielder has what it takes to succeed at Europe's finest and has advised him to make the move to Camp Nou if the chance arises.

"I think it's a real pity that he will leave Dortmund, but I can only congratulate him if he joins Barcelona," Riedle told Goal.

"Barcelona are the club that perfectly fit his style of play. He is a sensational player when he is 100 per cent fit. I think we have not seen the best of Gundogan just yet. He can add something to any team.

"I have rarely seen a more intelligent player out there and who has better skills than Gundogan. I have no doubt that he would fit right in at Barcelona.

"He is a bit like a modern Xavi. He organises and dictates the pace of the game. He is probably already one of the best in the world in this aspect of the game."

Riedle also had his say on the future of Jurgen Klopp following the successful coach's decision to leave Dortmund and he feels the 47-year-old is destined to take charge of a major club.

"I don't want to recommend him to any club in particular, but I cannot imagine him taking over a club like Stoke City. A major club from La Liga or the Premier League would fit him.

"Jurgen would take care of himself anywhere. Of course, things were easy for him in Germany because he was very popular and dealt with the media in sublime fashion. This might be a bit more tricky in England or Spain, but he is a great coach and will find his feet anywhere."

The 1996-97 Champions League winner then went on to discuss Saturday's Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus and feels Luis Enrique's men are the team to beat.

"I would say Barcelona are slight favourites, perhaps 60-40. But don't underestimate Juventus. That would be a huge mistake. Anything is possible for Juventus on a good day. And Barcelona occasionally look vulnerable in defence.

"It will be a great final. It's huge for Juventus to be back after some difficult years. This is better than an all-Spanish final. And we get to see the best player this planet has ever seen in Lionel Messi.

"But if you eliminate Messi, you've already taken a huge step in the right direction."