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'I would love to stay longer' - Guardiola opens up on Man City future

12:00 BST 20/09/2020
Pep Guardiola Manchester City
Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach is in the final year of his contract at the Etihad Stadium and will not rule out signing a new deal

Pep Guardiola says he would “love to stay longer” at Manchester City but has not yet spoken to the club about a contract extension.

The Catalan is starting his fifth season at the Etihad Stadium, which is longer than his previous reigns at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

His current deal runs out at the end of the season but before considering a new contract, Guardiola says he must first get his side back competing for trophies after last season’s Premier League and Champions League disappointments.

“I would love to stay longer here. It is a place I love to be but I have to deserve [to stay],” he told a news conference ahead of City's Premier League opener against Wolves on Monday night.

“This club achieved [high] standards in the last decade but we have to maintain that and I have to deserve it. I am going to see if I deserve it this season in terms of how the club goes forward and improves.”

Guardiola still maintains the confidence of the club's hierarchy, who remain relaxed about the situation as his current contract ticks down.

“We have every three days a game so we don’t have much time to think about it,” he added. “I try to see every day [director of football] Txiki [Begiristain] and [CEO] Ferran [Soriano] and I speak every week with [chairman] Khaldoon [Al Mubarak]. When it is going to happen, it is going to happen. 

“Now we have other issues. The organisation is so strong in all departments. It will not be a problem for the club to do what we have to do in the future.”

Guardiola faces one of the toughest challenges of his career as he looks to rebuild a side that finished 18 points behind champions Liverpool but insists he is excited by the task.

“I would not be here if I didn’t feel the fire or the desire to play good,” he said. 

“I still want to help the players avoid making mistakes and still I have the passion to do it - maybe more than ever. I want to try to be together and do a good season.”

Meanwhile, Guardiola revealed that Fernandinho has been made the club captain following the departure of David Silva at the end of the season

The role is decided by players and staff and they chose the 35-year-old Brazilian, who is starting his eighth campaign at the club.

“He will be good, as he always has done since I met him,” Guardiola said. “Sometimes I have captains, it doesn’t matter with the armband, being the first captain, he is always a guy who leads in the bad moments. 

“We decided in the locker room, the players, the backroom staff, we decided that Fernandinho is captain and I am more than delighted with that.”