PEP SIGNS NEW THREE-YEAR BLUES DEAL
GUARDIOLA SIGNS NEW THREE-YEAR DEAL WITH BLUES
PEP Guardiola has signed a new three-year contract with City.
And the new deal, aimed at keeping him at the new Premier League champions until 2021, means that his stay at City will be the longest of his managerial career.
Guardiola’s original deal was for three years, and was due to expire next summer – and that had led to fears that the Catalan might not stay, after he quit Barcelona after four years and Bayern Munich following three. But he has picked up a pay increase which reflects the fact that City won both the title and the League Cup this season, and has committed himself to trying to turn City’s triumph this season into sustained success. His new deal comes just four days after goalkeeper Ederson penned a remarkable new deal intended to keep him at City for seven years – while Kevin de Bruyne, Nicolas Otamendi, David Silva and Fernandinho have all signed new contracts recently.
With Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus expected to follow suit this summer, City have moved to tie up their main men. Guardiola has repeatedly expressed his happiness with life at City and in Manchester and in a recent interview he said: “There is always more.
“When I left Barcelona, I thought that my space to revolutionise was ended, but no. We have seen that there is always a way to do new things, especially because you have different players.”
CITY fans have, for the last ten years, been expecting to wake up and find it has all been a sweet, sweet dream.
The Blues’ previous capacity for getting it hopelessly wrong has led to a world-weary expectation that things, even when they seem to be getting better, are bound to fall apart sooner, rather than later.
This season has seen that dream become a transcendental vision of loveliness on the pitch – so it was bound to end in Pep Guardiola getting fed up of the rain and wandering away. Wasn’t it?
United fans blithely predicted that Guardiola would be on his bike, bored of little old City after being in charge at European monoliths Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
But, lo and behold, Guardiola has not only expressed his faith in City as a club, his commitment to the next three years allows them to shift into another gear in the race to make them the very best.
In 12 months, Guardiola turned Manuel Pellegrini’s talented but aimless team into a sharp, subtle, splendid football machine which has smashed records and won two trophies this season. Given another three years, what can he achieve?
Last season was about evolution, teaching the players a whole new approach to the game – and as Vincent Kompany said, at times it felt like trying to learn Chinese.
Once it clicked, City were unstoppable.
This season is not only a validation of Guardiola’s methods, it also lifts the burden experienced by any manager at an ambitious club who has yet to land some silverware.
With that monkey removed, and with a minimum of three years ahead of him, Guardiola can truly step things up.
He will be tweaking his team with one or two signings in the summer – possibly three – but he will also be seeking to weave talented youngsters like Phil Foden, Brahim Diaz and Tosin Adarabioyo more closely into the fabric of his squad.
Guardiola’s decision to sign up for three more years will be hugely popular at the City Football Academy, both with players and staff, and the sense of permanency and security it brings can only make the tight-knit squad and support staff into an even more formidable outfit. It also brings a sense of confidence to the club. City’s emergence from mid-table ordinariness was clearly fuelled by gaining rich new owners. But that notion, that City compete simply because they throw money at problems, is no longer valid. Guardiola has received a pay increase, but he is putting down roots at City because he believes in what he is doing, loves working with a committed and talented bunch of people, and is curious to see what they can all achieve together. City now have pulling power beyond the lure of hard cash, and Guardiola is proof of that. They will take some stopping next season, and beyond.
City now have pulling power beyond the lure of hard cash, and Guardiola is proof of that Stuart Brennan
Pep Guardiola signs his new contract with chief executive Ferran Soriano, left, and director of football Txiki Begiristain
Pep Guardiola signs his new threeyear City deal