Gundogan hoping to be ready for new season

Formula One stars play football in Monaco

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is determined to be fit for the start of the new season after stepping up his recovery from a serious knee injury.

The Germany international saw a promising debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium cruelly ended in December when he sustained cruciate ligament damage against Watford.

Gundogan has finally returned to light training after his lengthy lay-off, but there will be no break for the 26-year-old, who is giving up some of his vacation time to get ready for pre-season.

"I think I'm in a good way. I'm working hard," he told the club's official website. "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 pre-season before the rest of the team starts.

"So hopefully I can join the rest of the lads for pre-season – maybe not 100 per cent 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."

Gundogan made 15 appearances in all competitions for Pep Guardiola's side, scoring five goals, before being struck down by injury.