Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has signed a two-year extension to his contract with the Premier League club, ending speculation around his future.
Guardiola’s previous deal was set to expire in the summer of 2021, which naturally led to suggestions he would leave the club at the end of this season.
This new contract runs until 2023, with Guardiola commenting: “Ever since I arrived at Manchester City I have been made to feel so welcome in the Club and in the city itself- from the players, the staff, the supporters, the people of Manchester and the Chairman and Owner.
“Since then we have achieved a great deal together, scored goals, won games and trophies, and we are all very proud of that success.
“Having that kind of support is the best thing any manager can have. I have everything I could possibly want to do my job well and I am humbled by the confidence the Owner, Chairman, Ferran [Soriano, CEO] and Txiki [Begiristain, director of football] have shown in me to continue for two more years after this season.
“The challenge for us is to continue improving and evolving, and I am very excited and about helping Manchester City do that.”
Guardiola began his managerial career in 2008 at Barcelona, the club where he made his name as a player, spending four years in charge of the senior side having coached the reserves for a year previously.
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During his time as manager in Catalonia he won three La Liga titles, two domestic cups, and two Champions Leagues.
He then spent three years at Bayern Munich, winning the Bundesliga in each season and two domestic doubles, but failed to steer the club to European glory as many expected.
Having joined City in the summer of 2016, the contract which took him to 2021 meant it would be the longest tenure of his managerial career to date, and the two year extension means he could now spend seven years at the club.
The former midfielder has commented in the past that he prefers short term contracts, and suggested on leaving Barcelona that he would never spend more than four years at a club.
“Four years, that gets everyone tired. The new coach will give things that I can’t give anymore,” Guardiola said when he left Barcelona.
“I have always wanted short-term contracts. Four years is an eternity as Barca coach.
“The main reason why I have taken this decision is because four years is many years. I have given everything and I have nothing left and need to recharge my batteries.
“I am really sorry about having lost that energy but I cannot lie to myself if I don’t have the same energy and excitement as the beginning and I knew from before it was my last season.”
That seemed to ring true at Bayern, too, where he spent just three years, but doesn’t appear to apply to his work with City, which could suggest there is another incentive — a reunion with Lionel Messi.
The Manchester club tried to sign Messi this summer in an attempt to reunite the Argentine with Guardiola. The pair enjoyed great success at Barcelona, with both spoken of as the best in the world as a result of their development together.
The new contract raises the possibility that Messi will join City in the summer of 2021 when his own contract with Barcelona expires, and could spend two years with his mentor as they both look to win another Champions League title.
In the short term, Guardiola’s contract extension gives City some stability, and they will hope to build on a start to the season which sees them six points off the top of the Premier League with a game in hand, and an impressive three wins out of three in the Champions League.
Source: Forbes – Business