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Pep Guardiola will see out Manchester City contract, insists chief executive Ferran Soriano

Manager rumoured to be considering leaving after a tough domestic season

Manchester City's manager Pep Guardiola has had a relatively disappointing domestic campaign. EPA
Manchester City's manager Pep Guardiola has had a relatively disappointing domestic campaign. EPA

Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano has reiterated the club’s belief that Pep Guardiola will see out his contract with the Premier League champions.

The Spaniard, who guided City to back-to-back top-flight titles, has been rumoured to be considering leaving at the end of this season following a relatively disappointing domestic campaign.

Friday's defeat to Wolves prompted Guardiola to concede that hopes of retaining their crown were over, since City sit 14 points off leaders Liverpool at the halfway stage. The 3-2 reverse was his side's fifth loss in 19 matches; last season, City lost only four times during the entire term.

However, speaking on Saturday on the sidelines of the Dubai International Sports Conference, Soriano played down speculation Guardiola might not stay beyond this summer.

“He’s said so many times that he has a contract that covers this year plus next year too,” Soriano said. “So there’s no discussion about this.

“Pep will stay and he’ll leave at the right time one day. And the club is strong enough to survive any change. But as Pep said many times, he’s not leaving.”

Asked to explain City’s recent drop-off in form, Soriano said: “I would say that what’s happening is normal. What’s not normal is what happened the last two years where Manchester City got 198 points in two years.

“The Premier League is very competitive, any team can win against any team. Obviously we’re not happy with the amount of games that we lost, but that’s the nature of competition, the nature of football.

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Wolves stun Manchester City

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“We’re now in December; we shouldn’t be talking about where we’re going to end the season. We should be going game-by-game. Also, because you cannot switch your intensity from one competition to the other so quickly.

“If we want to win the League Cup, the FA Cup, the Champions League, we have to be very intense in all the competitions, including the Premier League, regardless of whether we have a chance to win or not.”

City are said to be looking to bolster the squad once the transfer window opens on Wednesday, with a central defender thought to be high on their agenda. Benfica’s Ruben Dias, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and even Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly have been linked this past week.

But Soriano said: “There’s not any particular plan at this time. The winter market is a challenging market – it’s very narrow, there’s not a lot of players in the market. We will see. But we don’t have any specific plan.”

Published: December 28, 2019 05:03 PM

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