Borussia Dortmund are ready to offer Ilkay Gundogan a return ticket home if the midfielder is eventually forced out at the Etihad.

Gundogan linked with Germany return

Gundogan linked with Germany return

The Bundesliga giants made it clear to the Germany international there will always be a place for him back at the Westfalenstadion if things don't work out for him at Manchester City.

Gundogan left Dortmund to become Pep Guardiola's first singing when City paid £20m for his services back in the summer of 2016, but he has struggled to nail down a regular starting berth ever since.

Much of that has been down to serious injuries, which saw him miss the majority of last season after he damaged cruciate knee ligaments playing in a game against Watford.

Gundogan is happy with his life in Manchester but is still playing second fiddle to Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Fernandinho in City's engine room.

The 27-year-old is also hearing reports that City have put a summer deal in place to sign Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian midfielder Fred, further ramping up the pressure on him.

Gundogan is a popular squad figure but Dortmund are understood to be watching how things develop over the next few months and would not hesitate to bring him back to the club, where he proved a huge fan favourite after making 122 appearances during his five years with them.