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Can Man City convince Pep Guardiola to renew his contract or will the coach move on?


No one at Manchester City is panicking about Josep Guardiola’s future as Premier League champions manager, but everyone agrees questions will soon start again.

The 51-year-old Guardiola’s contract ended in the summer, and without agreeing to new terms, he could leave the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season. City have made no secret of their desire to keep Guardiola, the holder of four Premier League titles and five other major trophies since his arrival in 2016, but asked in August if this could be his final year at the club, the former Barcelona. and the Bayern Munich boss was typically vague.

“I wouldn’t change my life here for a second,” he said. “It’s been seven seasons. We spoke to the club. In the middle of the season, at the end of the season, we will talk again about how we feel and decide what is best for the club.”

“I’ve said many times that if that’s what they want, I would like to stay longer, but at the same time, I have to be sure.”

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Ideally, City would like to be able to announce Guardiola’s contract extension between the World Cups.

Premier League matches have been suspended from November 13 to December 26 due to the tournament being held in Qatar, leaving enough time to finalize negotiations and sign a contract. Confirmation before the Boxing Day restart would settle the issue long before Guardiola enters the last six months of his contract and leave everyone at Etihad free to focus on the title race and the business end of the Champions League.

But if things start to drag on into the second half of the season, it will become a problem that City can do without. If players were to start coming back from the World Cup and Guardiola’s future was still up in the air, it would raise the inevitable questions about what’s next for both Guardiola and the club.

It will take time for City to find a new manager. They admire Julian Nagelsmann’s work at Bayern, former New York City manager Patrick Vieira impressed Crystal Palace and ex-City captain Vincent Kompany got off to a good start at Burnley. easy process.

Speaking over the summer, Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak acknowledged that Guardiola’s position will always be up for debate, especially as his contract starts to run out.

“Pep has never stayed here for as long as he has at any club, be it Barcelona or Bayern Munich,” Al Mubarak said during his usual end-of-season address to fans. “The question is absolutely correct. He was absolutely correct last year, three years ago and, of course, this year. It’s a partnership that has worked wonders over the years.”

Al Mubarak has been here before. Guardiola entered the final year of his last contract at the start of the 2020-21 season. It was rumored that at that time he wanted to take a break, as he had already spent longer in Manchester than in Barcelona or Munich.

In the end, he stayed and in November 2020 a new two-year contract was announced. Guardiola has cited his relationship with the club as one of the key reasons for his decision to stay and that will certainly be a factor again. time around.

“Such support is the best any manager can have,” he said two years ago. “I have everything I could want to do my job well and I am honored by the trust of the owner, chairman, Ferran. [Soriano] and small [Begiristain]showed in me to go on for two more years after this season.”

Thanks in part to his friendship with Soriano and Begiristain, which began during their time together at Barcelona, ​​Guardiola knows he may never be as good as he was at City. But he’s also acutely aware that he’s only as good as his players are, and that his success as a manager requires the team to be constantly supportive of what he’s trying to do.

“This is not the second or third season, it’s been many years and I have to see how the players behave,” Guardiola said in August. “I don’t want to be a problem. Sometimes when you expand something and impose it, it’s not good, so you need to get through it and relax.”

“This situation occurs when it should happen naturally. If you force it, things go wrong. We will see what happens during the season and how we feel and the best decision will be made for the club. .”

Over the summer, Bernardo Silva admitted that working under Guardiola can be ‘tiring’, but based on City’s start to the season, his methods still work.

On top of that, Begiristain has managed to revamp the roster to the point where only four players – Kevin De Bruyne, Kyle Walker, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez – are over 30 years old. With only 26 wins against the Wolves before the international break, and with the likes of Erling Haaland and Phil Foden not even close to reaching their peak, there’s every chance the cycle of success will continue.

Guardiola doesn’t want to be a manager forever, but he has ambitions that go beyond Etihad. It’s likely that he’ll take a break after City to travel, spend time with his family and improve his golf, but after that he hasn’t ruled out leading the national team to a major tournament. However, Khaldun, Begiristain and Soriano hope he still has the motivation to extend his stay for at least a couple more years.

Without the desire to work into his 60s and 70s like Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, Guardiola’s time on the touchline will eventually come to an end. However, City are hoping there is no place he would rather be at the moment.

Source: www.espn.com