Guardiola set to be offered long-term City deal

LONDON • Pep Guardiola will discuss a new contract with Manchester City in the summer, with the club hoping to persuade the Spaniard to stay beyond next season and create a "dynasty" at the Etihad Stadium.

City head to Leicester City for a League Cup clash today seeking to reach only the second semi-final of Guardiola's 18-month reign after losing to Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-finals in April.

But they are romping away with the Premier League title race, and remain on course for a quadruple.

While City do not expect Guardiola's reign to match Alex Ferguson's tenure of 261/2 years at Old Trafford, it is understood that the club's hierarchy believes that the 46-year-old could establish his own era of domination and success in Manchester, and remain in place for at least a decade.

Guardiola spent four years in charge of Barcelona and three with Bayern Munich and previously indicated that his three-year deal which ends in 2019 will be the maximum length of his stay at City.

Yet his team's progress on the pitch, his enjoyment of the working environment and his close relationships with Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, the chief executive and director of football respectively, point towards a longer stay.

He is understood to feel calmer than at Barcelona, where he gradually felt worn down by the broader pressures of a job in which he was regarded as the leader of an entire region as well as a team competing on all fronts.

After a trophyless first season in Manchester, the League Cup - with the final scheduled for February - gives Guardiola his earliest chance to get his hands on the first silverware of his City reign.

If he fields a strong team today, City are expected to repeat the 2-0 win at the King Power Stadium earlier this season. Guardiola's men are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League and will face Burnley in the FA Cup third round next month.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2017, with the headline 'Guardiola set to be offered long-term City deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe