Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Ilkay Gundogan Is Only a Pipe Dream for Gunners

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Ilkay Gundogan of Borussia Dortmund celebrates after scoring a goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Only in your dreams, Arsenal. Only in your dreams.

Rob Draper of the Daily Mail put out a compelling rumour Saturday that raises some interesting questions. Per Draper, not only will Arsene Wenger get Gonzalo Higuain this summer, but he'll also snap up Ilkay Gundogan and Lars Bender:

Arsene Wenger is ready to smash Arsenal's transfer record this week with bids for three of Europe's fastest-rising stars.

The news that the club are thinking big, with moves for Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain, Borussia Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan and Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender, will come as a massive relief to Arsenal fans after years of frugality and summers of losing their own stars.

The Higuain and Bender rumours aren't all that crazy.

Higuain has been linked to the Gunners quite a bit already, and the Daily Mirror's John Cross reported the striker has already had talks with Wenger.

Bender would be unlikely, but he's said himself he came close to leaving Bayer Leverkusen last summer for Bayern Munich, per Chris Kvesa of Should a club like Arsenal come calling, it might be hard to say no a second time.

It's with Gundogan that things become more interesting, however.

The midfielder would be a tremendous purchase for Arsenal. He would really help to beef up the center of the pitch for the Gunners and give the club the long-term replacement for Mikel Arteta.

Unfortunately for Wenger, though, this isn't FIFA or Football Manager. He has to deal with a little thing called reality.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has said himself that he wants to play in England or Spain at some point in his career. Now doesn't seem to be the time for him to make that move.

It was just in April that it looked like Gundogan was going to extend his contract with the club. He's just 22 years old and has plenty of time before he feels he's done everything he can in Germany.

Gundogan is also less than a month removed from scoring the only goal for Dortmund in the Champions League. Why he would want to leave that club for Arsenal is up for debate. Sure the Gunners have the allure of Premier League football, but they look no closer to winning the league title or going very deep in the UCL.

Mario Gotze is already off to Bayern Munich, with Robert Lewandowski likely gone as well. Dortmund will be very wary to let another key player like Gundogan leave. Of course, he's not untouchable, and money talks.

If Arsenal were to hit the magic number, Dortmund would almost be foolish not to sell. The problem is that the fee the German club would be demanding is probably way above anything Wenger would want to pay (about £30-40 million).

Arsenal supporters aren't stupid. The moment they read the article online or in the paper, they probably had a chuckle and dismissed it. For the few who are holding out any sliver of hope for this move, though, it's quite a rumour to consider.