MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola signed a two-year contract extension on Thursday to prolong his stay at the English club to a seventh year, saying he has “everything I could possibly want to do my job well.”
If he sees out his new deal that runs through the end of the 2022-23 season, Guardiola will become second in the list of City’s longest-serving post-war managers.
He is in his fifth season at City — longer than he stayed at Barcelona (four) and Bayern Munich (three) — and has won two Premier League titles, the last three English League Cup titles and the FA Cup once.
Guardiola has also been backed in the transfer market by City, which has spent about $480 million on defenders alone since his arrival in 2016.
“Ever since I arrived at Manchester City, I have been made to feel so welcome in the club and in the city itself — from the players, the staff, the supporters, the people of Manchester and the chairman and owner,” he said.
“Having that kind of support,” Guardiola added, “is the best thing any manager can have. I have everything I could possibly want to do my job well.”
City chairman Khaldoon Mubarak said Guardiola’s decision to stay at City was “a product of the mutual trust and respect that exists between him and the entire club.”
“Pep’s contract extension is the natural next step in a journey which has evolved over many years,” Khaldoon said.
Guardiola, who has a win rate of 73.87% since joining City, said early this season he would only extend his contract beyond next year if his team’s performances justified it after losing the title to Liverpool last season.
City is in 10th place in the Premier League after winning three of its seven games. The team has played game fewer than most of its rivals, however.
The club has seen many of the players who helped make it a force over the past decade — Joe Hart, Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and David Silva — leave, and striker Sergio Aguero could be next at the end of this season.
The new generation under Guardiola is being led by the likes of Phil Foden and Ferran Torres. And with Guardiola confirmed as staying, it opens the possibility of the Spanish coach being reunited with Lionel Messi for next season should City attempt to sign the Argentina star when his contract at Barcelona expires in June.
City was heavily linked with Messi before he chose to stay at Barcelona in September despite putting in a transfer request.
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