It’s been a busy few days for Manchester City. Manager Pep Guardiola has ended all the talk about his future by signing a new contract, but plenty of focus has still been on Saturday’s meeting with Tottenham Hotspur.
Guardiola knows that he still has plenty of work to do with his side, who are currently tenth in the Premier League after winning just three of their opening seven games.
Here’s everything the boss had to say ahead of the trip to London.
“I am so grateful to the club. I say thanks for extending my contract. They are the reason I am still here. They gave me a lot these four or five seasons. We want to continue to do our best as well as possible.
“One of the main reasons I stayed was my conversations with Khaldoon Al Mubarek (club chairman). And after the squad, the city, the club, the organisation of the club especially and how they behaved in an incredibly difficult period this season.
“For example in the furlough, we didn’t ask the government, and the [NHS used the Etihad]. The club didn’t fire one person. The whole entire club continued with his job, when it’s so difficult to get the wages for all the workers, not just the players. Even pay the bonuses they deserved for last season.
“For that reason the club they showed me how good they are in many things, and after the conversation with Khaldoon it made a difference and we decided together to continue two more years.”
On Whether He Wants to Sign Lionel Messi
Messi’s Barcelona future remains up in the air, and City’s chances of signing the Argentine next summer appear to have been boosted by Guardiola’s decision to stay at the Etihad.
“Messi is a player from Barcelona, if you ask me my opinion I have a huge gratitude for what Barcelona has done for me, in the academy, as a player and as a manager, they gave me absolutely everything, what I want is for him to finish his career there.
“I would like, as a Barcelona fan, that Leo finishes there, but this is his final year of contract and I don’t know what’s going to happen in his mind.
“Right now he’s a Barcelona player and the transfer market will be in June or July. We have incredible games to play and achievements to try and achieve and this is only in our minds.”
“Except for Nathan [Ake] and Fernandinho, the rest have started to come back. Fernandinho is not fit. He has a bit of gastroenteritis, something in his stomach.
“Sergio [Aguero] trained this week. Raheem [Sterling] trained for the first time today with the team.”
On Needing to Win Trophies
“I’m not thinking much right now about titles. It will be good to do what we have done in the last three years. It’s difficult. But we are thinking week by week to do a good job and we’ll see at the end what we deserve.
“All the managers are there to win titles. We did an incredible job to win two titles last year and eight in the last three years. The job is not to win titles, it’s to win tomorrow then we see what happens.
“We spoke a lot with Txiki [Begiristain], Khaldoon and analyse what we have done, what we can do. I say an incredible thank you for the opportunity to continue here. People say thanks to me but I say thanks to the club.
“They are the reason I am still here. They gave me a lot, in the four seasons and we want to continue trying to do our best as possible.”
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