Pep Guardiola: Manchester City owner fully supports me
Sheikh Mansour has indicated that he would be happy for Pep Guardiola to stay beyond the end of his three-year contract with Manchester City in order to build a dynasty.
The manager received the full support of the owner when they met during City’s recent warm weather training break in Abu Dhabi.
Guardiola, meanwhile, has indicated that there is no place in his long-term plans for goalkeeper Joe Hart, who has been told that his career at the Etihad Stadium is over.
City’s manager has begun the process of trying to remodel the club as one who can challenge to win the Champions League on a regular basis, while also bringing through the finest young talent via their academy.
However, he has acknowledged that adjusting to English football has been a significant challenge for him since his arrival from Bayern Munich last July, and faces the possibility of ending a season without a trophy for the first time in his managerial career.
Winning the Premier League this season looks unlikely, with City in third place, 11 points behind leaders Chelsea; they can, however, secure a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals by beating Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night, and can progress to the last eight of the Champions League by defending a 5-3 first-leg lead against Monaco on March 15.
Guardiola’s meeting with City’s billionaire owner was their first; the manager came away with the belief that he has a clear mandate to pursue long-term success.
He said: “He knows and I know that it all depends on the results. He would like that I stay here for a long, long, long, long time. But of course it depends on the results.
“If not, they would say: What happened? What can we do? What do we need to improve? That’s the process. To finish the process, they are going to help us.”
Guardiola won 21 trophies in seven years as a manager before arriving at City, but is aware that winning the Premier League was not enough to save his predecessors, Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini, from the sack when they failed to build on that success.
“We didn’t speak about targets,” he said. “They will be happy if we win. I know we have to win but I’ve handled that in the past and I will in the present.”
Hart, however, will not be involved in Guardiola’s project, having been told that he will not be part of the squad for next season.
The City manager felt that England’s goalkeeper was not good enough to adapt to a possession-based style of play when deciding to send him to Torino on a season’s loan.
Even though Claudio Bravo has failed to convince since his £17.1m move from Barcelona in August, Guardiola has not changed his mind.
Guardiola will decide at the end of the season whether to offer a new deal to veteran Willy Caballero, who has displaced Bravo for Premier League games but is out of contract in the summer.
Asked if there was any chance of Hart coming back, Guardiola shook his head and said: “I’m so happy with Willy and Claudio.”
The manager added that there was no hurry to get Caballero, 35, signed up on a new contract.
He said: “We’ll think about that but we’ll make the decision at the end of the season.”
94 total views, 1 views today