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Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak breaks silence on Pep Guardiola’s new contract amid European trophy disappointment

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak breaks silence on Pep Guardiola’s new contract amid European trophy disappointment

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak will meet with Pep Guardiola to negotiate a new contract when the moment is appropriate.

The only pressure on the 51-year-old to win the Champions League will be the enormous amount of pressure he places on himself.

The Spaniard is nearing the end of his contract at the Etihad, and he will not be hurried into signing a new one.

He wants to make sure his Manchester City players are still responding to his methods before committing to staying past next summer.

Guardiola has just won his fourth Premier League title in five years, in addition to the five domestic cups he has won throughout his stellar six-year tenure. All that is lacking from his collection is a European trophy.

Questioned about the manager’s contract, Khaldoon said: “Pep has never stayed as long as he’s stayed (here) with any club, be it Barcelona or Bayern Munich.

“So, the question is perfectly valid. It was perfectly valid last year and three years ago. And, of course, this year.

“It’s a partnership that has done wonders in years. It’s approaching its seventh year and next year is going to be an exciting chapter of his partnership — we are enjoying every moment.

“We’re achieving great things together and this conversation will be had at the right time, at the right pace. And with the pace, time and framework that works for Pep.”

Guardiola’s contract expired in 2020-21, and he signed an extension in the autumn of that year.

The club and management are unconcerned by the situation, but they do not want it to overshadow what looks to be an exciting year.

Erling Haaland, 21, and Julian Alvarez, 22, have already decided to join a team that has won the last two crowns despite without a true center-forward.

They’ve also come agonisingly close to ending their two-year drought for a Champions League trophy in the last two years, but both times they fell just short.

There are frequent claims that Guardiola must win it to be considered a success in England, but the City owners, at least officially, think differently.

“It is the exact opposite I try to bring back the pressure because I think he puts too much pressure on himself.

“The pressure of not winning this competition or that competition, we are all in it together.

“Sheikh Mansour looks at the game, understands the game and understands winning and losing very, very well.

“That’s why his ethos, his philosophy is what I’ve tried to instil on this organisation and what we have had these last years.

“We approach every season to win and to try to win every competition we compete in. That is the mindset and that has been the case over the last ten years.

“It’s the same with every competition from the Champions League, the Premier League the FA Cup. We show up every game with full intention to give it everything we have to win every game. And with that you can see the results.”

City spent £100 million on attacker Jack Grealish last summer, and Khaldoon feels the England star will only improve at the Etihad.

He said: “Jack’s one of the most promising and exciting players in the world. He’s an incredible talent, Pep and the coaching staff are delighted with his work ethic and his numbers are good.

“He’s on the right track and we know he is going to deliver. We have high expectations so let’s watch his evolution. Next season Jack will continue to improve and be a very important player.”

For next season, Khaldoon thinks the team will learn from another close call in Europe.

They were on the verge of eliminating eventual winners Real Madrid in the semi-finals before an incredible stoppage time comeback from Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

After City seized the lead, Madrid president Florentino Perez even threw in the towel, according to the City chairman.

He said: “Both Real Madrid games were standouts — even the away game. Those last few minutes and extra time were difficult but we showed a lot of personality.

“It was very hard for me being there with Perez right next to me. I think he actually congratulated me in the 82nd minute because we had this. But that’s football sometimes.”

City have certainly not said farewell to Guardiola yet, but they have said farewell to another of their icons.

Fernandinho, 37, has called it quits after a dazzling nine-year tenure.

Khaldoon added: “Five titles, six League Cups and an FA Cup — this is a remarkable tally by any standards.

“When Vincent Kompany left there were big shoes to fill and Fernandinho stepped up.

“He will be missed by everyone in this organisation because he was a silent leader who always spoke with his actions.”


Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak breaks silence on Pep Guardiola’s new contract amid European trophy disappointment

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