After much speculation in recent months, Pep Guardiola has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him with English soccer team Manchester City until at least 2023. The Spaniard previously had just seven months remaining on his existing deal, raising concern amongst City fans that he would depart at the end of this campaign.
These fears were exacerbated by the fact that Guardiola has already been at the helm in Manchester for a longer period than any of his previous jobs, as well as the fact that City continue to struggle in Europe and did not lift the league trophy last year. Now however, fans can rest assured that Guardiola is still fully committed to this squad and will likely receive the financial backing to continue building it.
“It is testament to the qualities of the man that Pep Guardiola’s passion and intelligent approach are now woven into the very fabric of the football we play and our culture as a club,” Man City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in a statement announcing the contract extension. “That impact has been central to our success during his tenure and it is why I am delighted that he shares our view that there is so much more to be achieved both on and off the field.”
“Pep’s contract extension is the natural next step in a journey which has evolved over many years. It is a product of the mutual trust and respect that exists between him and the entire Club. It also goes to the stability and creativity at the heart of our football operations. Importantly it is a validation of the football structure and philosophy that has been built over more than a decade and to which he has contributed so much.
“I’m sure all City fans share my delight in this new agreement and in anticipating the exciting opportunities that, with continued hard work, are there to be taken.”
Guardiola has had a huge effect on Man City since he joined in 2016, changing their style of play and taking them to domestic heights that no team has reached before; the team lifted the 2017/18 English Premier League trophy with a record haul of 100 points and 106 goals. The following season saw Guardiola and his side managed to repeat the dominance, picking up 98 points to win the league in a season that saw them become the first ever English team to pick up every single domestic trophy on offer – the EPL, FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield.
Success in England is only a continuation of Guardiola’s fantastic career to date with the 49-year-old having picked up an incredible 29 major trophies in just 11 full seasons as manager. 14 of those came in four seasons as the head coach of Barcelona, including the club’s first ever treble in his first year there. Guardiola would pick up a second Champions League trophy before he left Barcelona in 2012, but the world-renowned coach has failed to win one since, despite taking the helm at German giants Bayern Munich and then Man City.
“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,” Guardiola said. “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 and Txiki 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.”
There has been further positive contract news for Man City this week as star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne announced that he still wants to play in Manchester beyond this season and is even in talks with the club for a new contract.
There had been speculation that the 29-year-old superstar would move elsewhere at the end of this season and the Belgian had said that he would be forced to look elsewhere if Man City’s European ban was upheld. Luckily for City fans, the ban has been overturned and it looks as if one of the club’s most prized assets will be around for another couple of years at least.
Speaking to Belgian TV station VTM Nieuws, De Bruyne said: “I am at a good club [with] good owners.
“We are a bit in talks – not advanced. At the moment I am doing the talks myself.
“I would like to stay with the club, so it’s easy. If I didn’t want to stay, it would take someone to mediate. But when you want to stay, it’s not so difficult.”