Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has revealed his club turned down a bid from Real Madrid for his services.
The 24-year-old was strongly linked with a move to the Spanish capital a couple of years ago before he was struck by a number of injuries that would keep him out of the game for 14 months. At the time, Los Blancos were looking for a successor to Xabi Alonso, who was entering the autumn of his career, and wanted a similar player to slot into midfield.
In the end, they signing Asier Illarramendi from Real Sociedad, and this year added to their ranks by signing German World Cup winner Toni Kroos.
But speaking to a newspaper in Turkey, Gundogan, who has Turkish origins, said the story could have been so different.
“Real Madrid made an offer for me but my club refused it,” Gundogan said. “At the time I had two more seasons on my contract. But also, my injury wrecked everything. I couldn’t play for 14 months.”
He went on to add that he still harbours wishes of playing abroad one day, and would like to move to either England or Spain.
“Now I want to look forward and make up for lost time with sporting success,” he stated. “Playing outside Germany is one of my big goals. If one day I leave here, I’d like to play in Spain or for one of the big teams in England.”