Thursday 5 December 2019

'Comfortable' Guardiola open to extending City contract

The 48-year-old Catalan is already under contract until the end of next season and has insisted that he will see out that deal, his longest in management at any one club having served four years with Barcelona and three at Bayern Munich. Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images
The 48-year-old Catalan is already under contract until the end of next season and has insisted that he will see out that deal, his longest in management at any one club having served four years with Barcelona and three at Bayern Munich. Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Ian Winrow

Pep Guardiola has revealed for the first time that he is interested in staying at Manchester City into a sixth season and beyond, when his contract with the Premier League champions expires in 2021.

The news will be welcomed by owners at the Etihad Stadium at the end of a week in which their City Football Group attracted £388m in new investment from US private equity firm Silver Lake Management.

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The 48-year-old Catalan is already under contract until the end of next season and has insisted that he will see out that deal, his longest in management at any one club having served four years with Barcelona and three at Bayern Munich.

But yesterday, as he prepared for this lunchtime's visit to Newcastle, Guardiola discussed the possibility of staying beyond that.

"I'm open (to staying), yes, I'm so comfortable working with this club," said Guardiola, whose side are nine points behind leaders Liverpool. "When you are five years, it depends on the results. We will see what happens this season and next season."

Guardiola's wife, Cristina Serra, has reportedly returned to live in Barcelona, leading to suggestions that he may be preparing for life after City, although and comments yesterday indicated the opposite. The City manager said there would be a variety of considerations before he made a final decision.

Extend

"It is not the same when the manager is five years as two years (into a job)," he said. "It is not about what the club wants or not. For myself, I want to see my players and their reaction and everything.

"It is not simple like I want to extend. I want to see the club, I want to see the players, I want to see how still we are working together."

Guardiola also revealed that he will not stand in Mikel Arteta's way if he wishes leave his post to become the new manager of Arsenal.

Arteta was approached by Arsenal following Arsene Wenger's departure 18 months ago but ultimately lost out to Emery, who failed to finish in the top four last season and had picked up just four league wins so far this term.

Guardiola has always said that Arteta will become a manager one day and, though he hopes to keep him on his staff, he will not block any potential move to City's Premier League rivals.

"I said many times with my players, staff, they're free to do what they want to do," he said. "It's about being a friend, I want the best for him. What I want is we stay this season together and next season together but I don't know what's the best for him." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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