Guardiola extension on the agenda – Al Mubarak
Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak is hopeful manager Pep Guardiola will stay at the club "for years to come".
Guardiola, who has guided City to back-to-back Premier League titles, including a domestic treble last season, is contracted at the Etihad Stadium until the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
There has been speculation the Spaniard, who took over the Citizens in 2016, could cut short his stay at the end of the current campaign and make a return to boyhood club Barcelona, who he managed from 2008-2012.
Back in September, it was reported Guardiola’s spouse, Cristina, had returned to the Spanish city with one of the couple’s three children to look after her successful fashion company in Catalonia.
However, it emerged this was only a temporary measure to oversee the business and that the family would all be living together again in their Manchester home in 2020.
Guardiola also revealed last week he would like to “stay longer” and the club seem happy to keep him, with Al Mubarak telling Sky Sports an extension is wanted by the board.
“Pep has been an incredible asset to this organisation”, he said. “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.
“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.”
If Guardiola were to leave City, which looks very unlikely right now, former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has been mooted as a potential replacement following his sacking as Tottenham Hotspur manager last Tuesday.
The Argentine tactician, who was replaced by ex-Manchester United chief Jose Mourinho, is being tracked by several top European clubs, including Bayern Munich and also the Red Devils, who are beginning to lose patience with incumbent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.