'I have to earn new deal', insists Guardiola

by Alam Khan
Pep Guardiola says he has to earn a new Manchester City contract

Pep Guardiola insists he still has to earn a new contract at Manchester City despite winning five major trophies in the past two seasons.

City are keen for Guardiola to commit to a deal beyond the current one that ends in 2021.

But, in the midst of a frustrating season that sees City trailing Premier League leaders Liverpool by 14 points, the 48-year-old says there is no rush to agree an extension, partly because performance will be a factor in his future.

"I have one more year and always I have to deserve to extend my contract," Guardiola told reporters on Friday.

"Managers, we have to get results. At this club you have to win. In football, we spoke about this, the situation changed a lot, managers today, even in this country, they change a lot.

"In just four or five months, how many managers have been sacked? So that's why we have to be patient and do our job.

"We still have a lot of time. So we have patience, we have an incredible relationship with the board, with the people who decide, and we will take the decision that is best for the club.

"I think in football one-and-a-half years is a long time for the managers, a lot of time, so we have to see altogether how it works, how it's going on."

Guardiola spent four years as Barcelona boss and three years with Bayern Munich before joining City in 2016.

He will have been at the Etihad Stadium for five years if he finishes his current City deal.

Some pundits believe that will mark the end of his reign, but Guardiola disagrees.

- 'Perfect for both sides' -

"I said many times how incredible, what a good time I have here, and I would like to stay as long as possible," Guardiola said.

"So that is my desire. But I will only be sure if it's the best for the club that they want me to stay longer.

"So it will be five years with one club, in this competition, this league, it has many years, so that's why it's important to be sure the decision is perfect for both sides.

"That's why there's no rush, it's not finishing in three or four months. The club is working perfectly in all departments, so it's not a problem, honestly."

City face Leicester on Saturday, looking for the win to close the gap on the second-placed visitors to one point.

Guardiola will be without his assistant Mikel Arteta following the Spaniard's decision to take charge at Arsenal on Friday.

Rodolfo Borrell will step up to be the temporary assistant for Guardiola, although he has also been linked with joining Arteta.

"Yes he'll step up. From now on he wants to stay with me. We've not had any approach for him. We'll continue like this until the summer," Guardiola said.

City winger Riyad Mahrez will be hoping for a starting spot against former club Leicester and has fond memories of his time with the Foxes after their title triumph in 2016.

"My first title with Leicester is one of the medals that means the most to me, as well as the Africa Cup of Nations which was for my country and so there is a lot of emotion," he said.

"But with Leicester it was an unbelievable achievement, and no one thought we were going to make it. What we achieved together was unbelievable and so that club means a lot to me.

"I am not surprised by them, they are a good team. They have good players and Jamie Vardy is scoring a lot of goals."

City came back to overhaul Liverpool in last season's title race and Mahrez added: "We know we are capable of doing that again."

Pep Guardiola says he has to earn a new Manchester City contract