GUN NING FOR DEAL

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - By SI­MON BAJKOWSKI

PEP Guardi­ola in­di­cated City want to ce­ment Ilkay Gun­do­gan’s fu­ture at the club with a new con­tract.

The Ger­man mid­fielder was the first new face of the Guardi­ola era in 2016 but hav­ing ar­rived in­jured, he suf­fered an­other prob­lem that spoiled his de­but sea­son with the club.

He has since proved him­self to be an in­valu­able mem­ber of the first team squad that can thrive in at­tack­ing mid­field or fur­ther back when re­quired.

With just 18 months left on the ini­tial deal he signed at the Eti­had, Guardi­ola said the 28-year-old knows that the club would like him to ex­tend his stay.

“He knows what we want, but it’s in our hands,” the man­ager said. “Gun­do­gan played the last two games like a hold­ing mid­fielder, he had more space than usual - but he was so clever. He made an in­cred­i­ble as­sist and a lot of passes be­fore the fin­ish.

“His qual­ity is in­cred­i­ble, we knew that. Un­for­tu­nately, the first sea­son was a long in­jury, like [Ben­jamin] Mendy last sea­son - and when he’s fit, he’s an in­cred­i­ble player. He can play that hold­ing mid­field role, he has the qual­ity and the vi­sion to pass.

“He’s a fan­tas­tic player.”

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