Guardiola signs new Manch­ester City deal through 2021

His prin­ci­ple tar­get at City is to de­liver the club’s first Cham­pi­ons League soc­cer ti­tle

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports - ROB HAR­RIS The As­so­ci­ated Press

Fresh from win­ning the Premier League, Pep Guardiola has signed a new Manch­ester City con­tract through 2021 to make the strong­est long-term com­mit­ment of his man­age­rial ca­reer.

Com­plet­ing five years at the Abu Dhabi-owned soc­cer club would rep­re­sent Guardiola’s long­est ten­ure in a coach­ing job.

Start­ing out in top-flight man­age­ment in 2008, Guardiola spent four years trans­form­ing Barcelona into a side that won three Span­ish league ti­tles and the Cham­pi­ons League twice among 13 hon­ours.

Af­ter tak­ing a sab­bat­i­cal, Guardiola took charge of Bay­ern Munich and won the Bun­desliga in each of his three years. Leav­ing Ger­many be­fore get­ting burnt out, the coach moved to Manch­ester in 2016.

Hav­ing en­dured crit­i­cism through a tro­phy­less first sea­son, Guardiola com­pleted his sec­ond campaign at City this month as a dou­ble win­ner.

Af­ter col­lect­ing the League

Cup in Feb­ru­ary, City sealed the Premier League with five games to spare and fin­ished with a record 100 points.

“I am so happy and ex­cited. It’s a plea­sure to be able to work here,” Guardiola said Thurs­day. “I en­joy work­ing with our play­ers ev­ery day and we will try to do our best to­gether in the com­ing years.

“As a man­ager, you have to feel good to be with the play­ers — and I feel good.”

Guardiola’s prin­ci­ple tar­get at City is to de­liver the club’s first Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle.

“I will fo­cus on the de­sire of my play­ers to be­come a bet­ter team and ev­ery day that’s what I will try to do — to im­prove on the pitch and im­prove our play­ers,” the 47-year-old Guardiola said.

“We have a young squad with an av­er­age age of 23 and we want to keep tak­ing steps for­ward and main­tain the lev­els we’ve achieved this sea­son.”

City ap­pears to have found sta­bil­ity af­ter a decade un­der Abu Dhabi own­er­ship, with a man­ager aim­ing to ce­ment the team’s dom­i­nance af­ter win­ning three ti­tles since 2012.

“In his two sea­sons with us, he has fos­tered an in­cred­i­ble spirit within the squad and sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­uted to our progress both on and off the field,” City chair Khal­doon Al Mubarak said. “In do­ing so he has em­bod­ied the pas­sion and com­mit­ment we all have for the club. I am very much look­ing for­ward to the con­tin­ued im­pact of his work.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Manch­ester City head coach Pep Guardiola ges­tures dur­ing an English Premier League soc­cer match against Southamptonon Sun­day.

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