Pep Guardiola heaped praises on IIkay Gundogan ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The former Bayern Munich manager gave a cheeky pre-match press conference singing the praises of Gundogan.
Describing Gundogan as an “exceptional player,” Guardiola commended his skills and versatility with the ball. His ability to effectively switch positions, lead attacks, and held off counters.
Guardiola also lauded Gundogan’s off-field characteristics and qualities that has made him an important and influential member of the Manchester City squad.
According to him, Gundogan is imbued with great human qualities. He leads with silence, and when he speaks everybody listens as such he loves and adore him.
”I love him. I adore him. I’m married, but I adore him! Ilkay is such an important player. Humanity, leading with silence – and yet when he talks everybody listens.
”He is a football player defined perfectly. An attacking midfielder with a sense of goal and assists,” Guardiola said.
IIkay Gundogan, 32, was Pep Guardiola’s first signing when he became Manchester City manager in 2016.
The Germany international joined Manchester City for £21m from Borussia Dortmund and has made 185 appearances, scoring 40 goals for the Citizens.
Gundogan has been a key member of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City squad. This season, he has made 28 Premier League appearances for the Citizens, scoring 4 goals with 3 assists.
He started the game against Fulham at Craven Cottage, leading the charge as the Citizens, who have been trailing Arsenal on the second spot on the Premier League table, finally overtook Gunners to the top spot with a game in hand.
The Citizens saw off Fulham with Erling Haaland hitting his 5Oth goal in his debut season for Manchester City and 34th Premier League goal after he converted a spotkick just three minutes into the game to give Manchester City the lead.
Carlos Vincius hit the equaliser for Fulham in the 15th minute before Julian Alvarez returned Manchester City to the lead with a 36th-minute strike.
With a barren second half, Manchester City ran out 2-1 winners to usurp the top spot with 76 points from 32 games.
The Premier League champions are now a point above Arsenal with a game to spare.
Having won the Premier League five times with Manchester City, IIkay Gundogan will be aiming to clinch his 6th Premier League title with Manchester City this season.
Gundogan signed a four-year contract with Manchester City in 2019 that saw him earn £140,000 weekly. He will run out of contract at the end of the summer and has been linked with a move to Barcelona.
The Catalans are reportedly ready to offer him a two-year contract when his contract expires in the summer.
Amid the rumors linking Gundogan to Manchester City exit, it is unclear whether his contract will be extended or not.
Should he fail to renew his deal with the club, Camp Nou will likely be his next destination as Barcelona plots move for free agents due to their worsening financial situation