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15th Dec 2016

Ilkay Gundogan set to be out “for a long time” after injury to the knee he dislocated last year

"It looks bad. It’s the same knee."

Rob Burnett

Ilkay Gundogan is set to be out “for a long time” after coming off injured during Manchester City’s win over Watford.

The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder suffered suspected ligament damage and came off before half time in City’s 2-0 victory – and it has now been revealed that the problem occurred on the same knee that he dislocated before he joined the Etihad club.

The 26-year-old had an operation in May which forced him to sit out the first few weeks of the season following his £20m switch to the club. He eventually made his debut in September.

Gundogan is undergoing tests on Thursday to confirm the nature of the injury and his layoff period, but after the match on Wednesday Pep Guardiola said: “I think we are going to miss him for a long time.”

When asked if it was ligament damage, the City boss said: “The doctor suppose yes. We will know the diagnosis tomorrow, but it doesn’t look good.”

City defender Pablo Zabaleta said: “It looks bad. It’s the same knee.

“We feel so sorry for him because it’s been quite tough for him at the beginning of the season.

“He has been working so hard and he was playing well. Unfortunately, now it is the same knee. But he has to keep strong and see how bad it is.”

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 21: Koke of Atletico de Madrid protests during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Deportivo Alaves at Vicente Calderon stadium on August 21, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Meanwhile Spanish sports daily Marca are reporting that Guardiola is keen on bringing Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke to the Premier League.

The 24-year-old has a staggering £125m release clause in his contract, but according to Marca, City chiefs are in “no mood to pay such a big, world record fee” but believe a deal can be struck.

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