<
>

Man City's Ilkay Gundogan targeting injury return in time for new season

play
Manchester City's summer transfer targets (2:08)

ESPN's Manchester City correspondent Jonathan Smith tells us who he thinks could be playing under Pep Guardiola in the 2017-18 season. (2:08)

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan hopes to be back for the start of the season after a cruciate knee ligament injury that has kept him out of action for the last six months.

Gundogan, 26, has been taking part in light training sessions as he steps up his recovery from the injury he suffered against Watford on Dec. 14.

The Germany international has remained at the Etihad Academy to work on his recuperation and is aiming to be involved in City's summer tour to the United States.

"I think I'm in a good way," he told the club's official website. "I'm working hard.

"I'm staying longer in Manchester than the rest of the squad. They are now on holiday but I am staying longer and I'm also coming back earlier to have my own little preseason before the rest of the team starts.

"So hopefully I can join the rest of the lads for preseason -- maybe not 100 percent but I am increasing day-by-day the work and hopefully being ready for the first Premier League game. I can't wait to be back."

Pep Guardiola's first season at the Etihad Stadium ended in disappointment with City finishing third in the Premier League and a round-of-16 exit from the Champions League.

City have already started to strengthen their squad with the arrival of midfielder Bernardo Silva and goalkeeper Ederson Moraes from Monaco and Benfica respectively.

And Gundogan, who made 16 appearances last season, expects the side to be challenging for silverware next term.

"Generally, the performances were really good and we just need to focus on small details for the next season," he added. "I am quite sure we can compete for everything, for all titles in every competition. That should be the target for next season and to keep playing the way we are playing.

"We should just aim for the best. We have such a great team and the management will also take care to make sure we are better. That should be the target. The way we play is really, really good -- dominant, a lot of possession, we are able to create a lot of chances.

"We have strikers, good midfielders, and we just need a little bit of stability at the back, so we will work on it for the next season. We showed already this season that we are able to beat anyone."