‘I cannot be in a better place’: Pep Guardiola extends Manchester City stay

Pep Guardiola has insisted he “cannot be in a better place” after signing a new one-year contract at Manchester City with an option of a further 12 months in a deal that could stretch his supremely successful tenure to 2025.

The manager’s terms were due to expire in June and it is understood he agreed the renewal during the current domestic break for the Qatar World Cup. He had been tight-lipped when asked in the lead-up to the tournament whether he could discuss a fresh deal then.

Guardiola, who will receive a rise on his reported £20m-a-year salary, has led City to four Premier League titles, one FA Cup, four League Cups and one Champions League final, which was lost to Chelsea in May last year.

“I can’t say thank you enough to everyone at the club for trusting me. I am happy and comfortable, and I have everything I need to do my job as best as possible,” said Guardiola. “I know the next chapter of this club will be amazing for the next decade. It happened over the last 10 years, and it will happen in the next 10 years because this club is so stable.

“From day one I felt something special being here. I cannot be in a better place. I still have the feeling there is more we can achieve together and that is why I want to stay and continue fighting for trophies.”

Guardiola’s renewed commitment is a sizeable fillip to the club as they continue the process of renewing the squad and adding fresh competition. Kevin De Bruyne will be 32 in June and although Guardiola said this season there was no sign that his number-one midfielder’s powers were waning, he accepts replacing the Belgian will be hard.

One candidate is Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, who is 19 and impressed in England’s 6-2 win over Iran in their opening group match at the World Cup on Monday. Guardiola is an admirer. “The quality and skills, everyone knows about it, but it’s not just about that,” he has said.

“It’s about the whole package. He’s really good. He’s already in the national team playing with them at 19. That’s quite impressive. When he was [as young as] 17, it wasn’t just the quality, it was about he was shouting, leading, kicking, and going to the referee.”

Speaking about Guardiola’s new deal, City chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, said: “I am delighted that Pep’s journey with Manchester City Football Club will continue. He has already contributed so much to the success and fabric of this organisation, and it’s exciting to think what might be possible given the energy, hunger and ambition that he clearly still has.

“Under his very special leadership our first team has accomplished so much, whilst continuously playing, and constantly evolving, a City style of football that is admired the world over. Like every City fan, I am looking forward to what lies ahead.”