Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has reopened the possibility of him leaving the Bundesliga giants, suggesting a failure to qualify for next season's Champions League could spark a mass exit. The Germany international has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool since the appointment of former boss Jurgen Klopp but has been cool on rumours until now.
Dortmund failed to qualify for Europe's premier club competition last term, instead reaching the Europa League in Klopp's final season at the helm. Gundogan played a significant part in the club's previous successes – winning the German league and cup double in his first season before scoring in the Champions League final loss against Bayern Munich.
Italian website Calciomercato.com reported upon the arrival of Klopp at Liverpool that the 24-year-old could become the first signing made by the new boss. The player has remained committed to the Dortmund cause, however he admits that a failure to finish in the top four may leave him to consider his future.
"There are no new developments as of yet [on a new contract, which expires in 2017]," he told Bild, according to the Daily Mail. "I am feeling very well at BVB and I know what I have at this club.
"I know that I will have to deal with the matter of my future at some point and that people expect me to make a decision. I want to deal with this situation in a respectful way and will sit down with the Dortmund management first and make a decision. But I do not know when that moment will be yet
"I believe everybody here at Dortmund wants to be back in the Champions League next season and anything else would be a major disappointment. But that does not mean that I will definitely leave if we don't qualify. I'm not that kind of person. I would already have left last summer had that been one of the criteria for me."
Asked particularly about the appointment of Liverpool and Klopp's appointment, Gundogan added: "They have a good team, a great coach." Dortmund are currently second in the Bundesliga table, eight points behind leaders Bayern Munich but nine ahead of fifth place Hertha Berlin.
Liverpool manager Klopp is yet to make any firm plans regarding the club's January transfer window business, but has already ruled out signing a goalkeeper to replace Simon Mignolet. The 48-year-old built a reputation on exploiting the Dortmund youth system to great success during his spell in the Bundesliga and his tenure so far on Merseyside suggests a similar tactic will be employed.