Football: Pep Guardiola open to staying longer at Man City, says Mikel Arteta free to make own career choices

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and assistant manager Mikel Arteta during training on Sept 30, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

MANCHESTER (REUTERS, AFP) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday (Nov 29) that he was open to the idea of signing a new contract with the English Premier League champions.

The 48-year-old Spaniard, whose team have twice won the league title plus the FA Cup and two League Cups since he joined in 2016, last year signed a contract extension to 2021.

Asked about staying beyond his current deal, he was quoted by the BBC as saying: "I'm open (to the idea), yes. It is not about what the club wants or not. For me, I want to see my players and the reaction of my players and everything.

"It is not as simple as I want to extend. I want to see the club, I want to see the players, I want to see how we are still working together.

"That is the most important thing after five years together. You have to feel like we can do it together and enjoy to work together."

The BBC said no talks had yet been held with City but Guardiola added: "I'm so comfortable working with this club.

"When you are (somewhere for) five years it depends on the results. We will see what happens this season and next season."

Separately, he confirmed that his assistant coach and close friend Mikel Arteta is free to consider other job opportunities should they come his way after Arsenal sacked Unai Emery.

The former Premier League star has been linked with the newly vacated post at the Emirates Stadium and an Everton job that may soon be open should Marco Silva be dismissed.

Both are former clubs of Arteta's.

"I don't know the thoughts of the Arsenal board," Guardiola said ahead of City's visit to Newcastle on Saturday (Nov 30).

"We speak quite often but I don't know the plans.

"I don't know if they'll call him, hopefully he can stay with us. If Arsenal want him they will call the club."

He said it was an honour that other clubs wanted his staff and he would not stand in their way. "I said many times with my players, staff, they're free to do what they want to do," he said.

"What I want is we stay this season together and next season together but I don't know what's the best for him," he added. "But tomorrow he travels to Newcastle."

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