Man City could now sign Declan Rice in 2023 after source's offer reveal - pundit
Noel Whelan has claimed he is “very sure” one of Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice will join Man City if Ilkay Gundogan decides to leave the club.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested a potential move would have to wait until the summer of 2023.
Football Insider revealed earlier this week (31 October) that Man City fear Gundogan, 32, will snub the offer of a new contract with his current terms set to expire at the end of the season.
The Sun claim (3 November) that Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Galatasaray are among the clubs interested in his services.
Rice and Bellingham, who are both set to star in midfield for England at this month’s World Cup, have been widely tipped for moves away from their respective clubs in 2023.
Whelan suggested Gundogan won’t look to leave the Etihad Stadium in January as he pursues an “elusive” Champions League triumph.
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When asked about potential candidates to replace the Germany international, he told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “The two players that spring to mind are Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice.
“The question is, can you get them in January? For me, I think no.
“At the end of the season, I can see it happening.
“If Gundogan is happy to stay until the end of the season and pursue that elusive Champions League trophy, then that’s the perfect time to replace him with that new blood.
“I’m very sure it will be one of those two players. I’d be very surprised if they don’t snap up one of Bellingham and Rice if they let Gundogan leave.
“It makes sense for everyone to wait until the end of the season, allowing Gundogan to get that free transfer and that big contract elsewhere.”