for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up
Sports News

Guardiola contract talks will be 'natural conversation': City chairman

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has less than a year left on his contract with the club, but chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak says there are no plans for set-piece talks with the Spaniard.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Manchester City v Real Madrid - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - August 7, 2020 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pool via REUTERS/Peter Powell/File Photo

Two-times Premier League winner Guardiola has a close relationship with City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain and Chief Executive Ferran Soriano, who all worked together at Barcelona.

Khaldoon says the way City operate behind the scenes means Guardiola’s contract situation will be resolved “naturally”.

“We have such an understanding me and Pep, the ecosystem we have between Txiki, Ferran, the entire club, that this conversation with Pep is a natural conversation,” Khaldoon said in an interview with the club’s official website.

“Pep and I have a very clear understanding about what is right for the club and what is not. We have a clear alignment in terms of where we see the future and what we want in terms of success for the club. I think again, it will be a comfortable conversation and it will work out in the best way for Pep, for me and for the club,” he said.

Despite the criticism Guardiola has faced for his cautious tactics in the Champions League defeat to Olympique Lyonnais, there has been no suggestion that the City hierarchy has lost confidence in the Spaniard, who has delivered two Premier League titles for the club since joining in 2016.

Indeed, it appears it will be very much Guardiola’s decision as to how long he stays with the club.

“We have the right people involved. We have the right trust in each other,” said Khaldoon.

City’s all-time top goalscorer Sergio Aguero is also entering the final season of his contract and having lost David Silva, who returned to Spain with Real Sociedad after his contract expired, there is concern among City fans about the future of the Argentine forward.

“To have a player like David essentially commit 10 years of his life to the club. To have a player like Sergio Aguero to do the same. This is what tells me we have it right,” said Khaldoon.

“They are part of the DNA of the club now and their decision over continuing or stopping, it’s the comfort zone that they have to decide. It was the same way with Vincent (Kompany). He left when he felt it was right for him to leave and the same thing with David.

“Sergio is going to be the same and we will work it out together and it will be very natural, wherever that is, this year or the year after. It will play out in a comfortable way whatever Sergio decides,” he said.

Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Hugh Lawson

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up