Ilkay Gundogan
Manchester United are on the verge of agreeing a £21.5m move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (R).Getty

Manchester United are reportedly on the verge of securing the services of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.

According to Sky Sports, the Red Devils have made contact with the Bundesliga club and are close to agreeing a deal worth around £21.5m to bring the midfielder to Old Trafford.

Louis van Gaal has made it clear that he is looking to bring in a ball playing midfielder to shore up his midfield and allow Wayne Rooney to play in his preferred central striker's role, and has identified the German international as the perfect candidate to occupy the role.

Gundogan will enter the final year of his contract at the end of the current campaign. According to ESPN, he has apparently made it clear to the club hierarchy that he wants to leave the Bundesliga club and Dortmund are willing to let him go this summer rather than lose him on a free transfer in 2016.

The 24-year-old midfielder played a key role for Dortmund in their title winning season in 2012/13, and again in the following year he helped them reach the final of the Champions League, which they eventually lost to arch rivals Bayern Munich at Wembley Stadium.

Van Gaal is said to be a big admirer of the midfielder and sees him as an ideal replacement for Michael Carrick, who is in the swansong of his career. The United midfielder has just signed a one-year contract extension with the Old Trafford club and will make way for the German over the course of the next season.

United are also tracking Gundogan's Dortmund teammate Mats Hummels, as the Dutch manager looks to strengthen his defence, which has looked shaky at times this season. The German club have indicated that they are willing to sell if interested clubs match their valuation of the player.