English Premiership

Man City success 'guaranteed' with Pep Guardiola, claims director

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Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain believes more success is "guaranteed" after Pep Guardiola extended his contract at the Etihad until 2023.

Guardiola has won six major trophies in his first four seasons in Manchester, including back-to-back Premier League titles in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss had never previously stayed more than four seasons at a single club, but both Begiristain and Guardiola are hopeful they can bounce back from being dethroned as English champions by Liverpool last season.

"The future of this club is absolutely guaranteed with him and the players we have," Begiristain told CityTV.

"He took the club to the top level, the maximum you can get. We wanted to do this attractive football and of course to win and he has done both."

City set the Premier League points record of 100 in 2017/18 and then held off Liverpool in a thrilling title race a year later with 98.

"We have played unbelievable football and we have won," added Begiristain.

"When you do 100 points in the Premier League - such a difficult league - and then in the next one, you have to do 98 to beat an unbelievable team like Liverpool by one (point) you want to see every weekend and every year the same."

Winning City's first ever Champions League remains the unfinished business of Guardiola's reign.

But he said no demands were made of him in terms of what trophies to win when discussing his future with City Football Group chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

"One of the main things was my conversations two or three times with Khaldoon," said Guardiola on the reason he decided to extend his deal.

"After was the squad, the city, the club, the organisation of the club especially and especially how the club behaved in an incredibly difficult period in the (last) season.

"The decision is not just mine, it's the club's as well. If we felt it was enough, I would have taken a break.

"We still have the feeling we have many things to do, because the squad had the feeling we are comfortable being together and try to do what we have done the previous seasons."

Guardiola, though, played down any suggestion that his contract extension could help City to lure Lionel Messi from Barcelona at the end of the season.

Messi is in the final year of his contract at the Camp Nou after publicly declaring his desire to leave after the end of last season.

City at that point seemed to be in pole position had Messi been allowed to leave.

Guardiola previously coached the six-time Ballon d'Or winner during their time at Barcelona and reiterated his desire for him to finish his playing career in the Catalan capital.

"I have a huge gratitude for what Barcelona has done for me, in the academy, as a football player and after as a manager. They gave me everything I want," added Guardiola.

He said that as a Barcelona fan himself he would "love" Messi to finish his contract at the club, but added: "(He) finishes this year the contract and I don't know what happens in his mind.

"Right now he is a Barcelona player and the transfer market is in June or July."

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