Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City chairman wants extended Guardiola stay

The Spaniard’s contract expires in 2021.

Manchester City are keen to keep their inspirational manager Pep Guardiola (Martin Rickett/PA)
Manchester City are keen to keep their inspirational manager Pep Guardiola (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Andy Hampson, PA

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak is hopeful manager Pep Guardiola will stay at the club “for years to come”.

Guardiola, who has guided City to back-to-back Premier League titles, including a domestic treble last season, is contracted at the Etihad Stadium until 2021.

There has been speculation the Spaniard, who took over at City in 2016, could cut short his stay at the end of the current campaign. The 48-year-old previously managed Barcelona for four seasons and Bayern Munich for three.

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Guardiola, who has won two Premier League titles, is contracted until 2021 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Guardiola, however, said last week he would like to “stay longer” and the club seem happy to keep him.

Al Mubarak told Sky Sports: “Pep has been an incredible asset to this organisation. We can speak about his managerial accomplishments for hours but I think as a person, as an individual, as a friend, he’s been a core part of what we’ve accomplished here over the last three years.

“He’s very committed, we’re committed to him. You’ve seen his interview a couple of days ago.

I'm very satisfied with his commitment and our commitment to him, and I'm looking forward to the continuity of this for years to come Khalddon Al Mubarak

“We have a great relationship, we have a great environment here. The people around him, the team we have in place today, the relationships I have with them, this is really an environment that’s conducive to success for both him and everyone involved in this organisation.

“So I’m very satisfied with his commitment and our commitment to him and I’m looking forward to the continuity of this for years to come.”

City held off a strong challenge from Liverpool to win the Premier League by a point last season and this term they face an even tougher test to beat the Merseysiders.

Chasing a third successive title, City trail Liverpool by nine points after 13 games.

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Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak (right) is a big fan of Guardiola (Martin Rickett/PA)

Al Mubarak said: “I think in Pep we have a leader who has shown time and time again his ability to continuously evolve and continuously challenge, and we’ve been in this position not once but many times before, and we’ve shown the character always consistently to come back.

“I think the Premier League is a very, very challenging league. That’s why we all love this league.

“Winning it for the last two seasons is one of the most challenging endeavours that any person in sport can do.

“No doubt the challenge is there. We’re up for it and there’s still a long way to go, (we’re) still in November and we’ll see where we end up in May, but certainly we’re up for it.

“This is a committed team, a disciplined team, a hardworking team with an exceptional manager.”

PA

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