Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes Pep Guardiola is “very committed” to Manchester City and hopes he will stay at the club “for years to come”. Guardiola’s current Etihad contract expires at the end of next season but speculation has suggested he could call time on his City spell early. The reigning Premier League champions currently sit
Guardiola’s current Etihad contract expires at the end of next season but speculation has suggested he could call time on his City spell early.
The reigning Premier League champions currently sit nine points off the pace domestically, while the threat of a ban from next season’s Champions League still hangs over their heads.
Guardiola last week dismissed all suggestions that he could quit at the end of the season, insisting he is happy in Manchester and wants to “stay longer”.
And Al Mubarak, City’s chairman, believes that Guardiola is dedicated to the club and hopes that he will stay beyond the terms of his current contract.
“Pep has been an incredible asset to this organisation,” he told Sky Sports, following the news of a £389m investment in City Football Group by US private equity firm Silver Lake.
“We can speak about his managerial accomplishments for hours but I think as a person, as an individual, as a friend, he’s been a core part of what we’ve accomplished here over the last three years.
“He’s very committed, we’re committed to him. You’ve seen his interview a couple of days ago.
“We have a great relationship, we have a great environment here. The people around him, the team we have in place today, the relationships I have with them, this is really an environment that’s conducive to success for both him and everyone involved in this organisation.
“So I’m very satisfied with his commitment and our commitment to him and I’m looking forward to the continuity of this for years to come.”
City face an uphill task to defend their Premier League crown and win the title for a third consecutive season, given Liverpool’s commanding lead at the top of the table.
Yet Al Mubarak is confident that Guardiola can close the gap on the league leaders, having come from behind to deny Jurgen Klopp’s side last season.
“I think in Pep we have a leader who has shown time and time again his ability to continuously evolve and continuously challenge, and we’ve been in this position not once but many times before, and we’ve shown the character always consistently to come back,” he said.
“I think the Premier League is a very, very challenging league. That’s why we all love this league.
“Winning it for the last two seasons is one of the most challenging endeavours that any person in sport can do.
“No doubt the challenge is there. We’re up for it and there’s still a long way to go, (we’re) still in November and we’ll see where we end up in May, but certainly we’re up for it.
“This is a committed team, a disciplined team, a hardworking team with an exceptional manager.”