ARSENAL have been dealt a blow in the race to sign Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer.
According to reports in Spain, Manchester City star Gundogan has agreed a deal to join Barcelona this summer instead.
Mundo Deportivo report that the German midfielder has agreed a three year contract with the Catalan giants and his decision will be announced after the Champions League final.
Arsenal had previously been confident of securing the City captain.
Gundogan is looking to leave the Etihad this summer after City initially only offered him a one-year deal.
City have since improved their terms by adding another year.
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But it is understood that the German wants a longer-term offer.
Arsenal are believed to have offered the Germany international a lengthy and financially lucrative contract.
But now it seems he will take a pay cut to join Barcelona, and replace departing icon Sergio Busquets with the Spanish champions.
Gundogan enjoyed a stellar season for City this season and scored a pair of volleys in City's 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester United in last week's FA Cup final.
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He was coy on his future when asked by the BBC if days like winning the FA Cup might convince him to extend his City stay.
He said: "To be honest I don't need these kinds of moments or days to feel appreciated and to feel special in this club.
"I know that. That's why I've been here already seven years with all the ups and downs I've had so far.
"But nothing is decided yet. We are going to see what is going to happen."
City's Champions League final clash with Inter represents the chance for Gundogan to captain City to a historic treble.
They would become just the second English side to win the treble, emulating United's 1999 success under Sir Alex Ferguson.
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