Pep Guardiola described himself as “humbled” after signing a two-year contract extension with Manchester City, with the 49-year-old believing he has everything he needs to deliver further success for the club.
Guardiola’s new deal will keep him at City until at least the end of the 2022-23 season.
He has already been there for longer than any other club he has managed, having arrived from Bayern Munich in 2016, and has repeatedly claimed he is happy to be working in Manchester with his present set of players.
Having agreed a short extension to his initial contract his deal was due to expire at the end of this season, but together with the club he used the international break to negotiate a new agreement.
In his five years at City the club have won two Premier League titles, three League Cups and an FA Cup, setting several scoring and point-accumulating records on the way, though it is hardly a secret that Champions League success remains an unachieved ambition.
Guardiola won that twice with Barcelona, which was one reason City’s owners began to pursue him, but he could not reach a final in three years in Germany and he has so far failed to negotiate the knockout stages with the English club.
A new contract potentially gives him another three attempts to improve on that record, and should he stay until 2023 he will become City’s second longest-serving postwar manager.
Seven years would see him overtake Joe Mercer (six years) on the longevity list, though few expect him to get close to Les McDowall’s 13-year tenure in the 1950s and early-1960s.
What an extra two years is almost certain to do is renew City’s interest in reuniting Guardiola with Lionel Messi, who returned from international duty with Argentina this week and complained publicly that he was sick of being blamed for all Barça’s problems.
Messi came close to leaving Barcelona in the summer, and City were prominent among potential destinations, and though he agreed to stay for another season few expect him to remain any longer.
At 33 Messi is reaching the end of his glittering playing career, though he might reasonably expect to have another two or three years at the top.
That timing would fit in perfectly with Guardiola’s newly agreed deal, especially as the player is out of contract at the end of the season. (The Guardian)