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Pep Guardiola ends speculation over Man City future as he signs new contract to boost hopes of signing Lionel Messi from Barcelona

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Nov. 19, 2020

Pep Guardiola has signed a new two-year contract at Man City, the Premier League club have confirmed.
The Spaniard, who was out of contract at the end of the season, has won two Premier League titles, three Carabao Cups and an FA Cup since arriving at the Etihad in 2016.
He had been linked with a return to Barcelona, who he bossed for four years between 2008 and 2012.
And Guardiola has ended that speculation by committing his future to City.
Citizens chairman Khaldoon Mubarak said: “It is testament to the qualities of the man that Pep Guardiola’s passion and intelligent approach are now woven into the very fabric of the football we play and our culture as club.
“That impact has been central to our success during his tenure and it is why I am delighted that he shares our view that there is so much more to be achieved both on and off the field.
“Pep’s contract extension is the natural next step in a journey which has evolved over many years.
“It is a product of the mutual trust and respect that exists between him and the entire club.
“It also goes to the stability and creativity at the heart of our football operations. Importantly it is a validation of the football structure and philosophy that has been built over more than a decade and to which he has contributed so much.
“I’m sure all City fans share my delight in this new agreement and in anticipating the exciting opportunities that, with continued hard work, are there to be taken.”
Guardiola’s contract extension could provide a boost in City’s pursuit of Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.
The 33-year-old wanted to leave the Camp Nou in the summer, but ended up staying despite interest from Man City.
However, with his contract running out next year, Messi is expected to leave the LaLiga giants and will have a host of clubs vying for his signature.
Victor Font, the frontrunner to be the next Barcelona president following Josep Maria Bartomeu’s resignation, had expressed an interest in bringing Guardiola back to the Camp Nou in an attempt to keep Messi.
But the former Bayern Munich boss has always insisted he would like to extend his stay in Manchester.
Upon signing his new deal, Guardiola said: “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.
“Since then we have achieved a great deal together, scored goals, won games and trophies, and we are all very proud of that success.
“Having that kind of support is the best thing any manager can have. I have everything I could possibly want to do my job well and I am humbled by the confidence the owner, chairman, Ferran [Soriano] and Txiki [Begiristain] have shown in me to continue for two more years after this season.
“The challenge for us is to continue improving and evolving, and I am very excited and about helping Manchester City do that.”
Man City have won just three of their opening seven matches of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
They trail leaders Leicester by six points, but have a game in hand on their rivals.
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