Media playback is not supported on this device

Man City ‘one of the best teams ever’

Manchester City will hold contract talks with manager Pep Guardiola in the summer as they aim to build a dynasty to rival that of Manchester United.

United won eight of the first 11 Premier Leagues titles under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and City would like to replicate that dominance.

They beat Tottenham 4-1 on Saturday to extend their record winning run in the Premier League to 16 games and are 11 points clear of United at the top.

Guardiola’s contract expires in 2019.

No trophy – but City chiefs never doubted Guardiola

Guardiola, who previously coached Barcelona and Bayern Munich, became City manager in the summer of 2016.

In his debut season, the team finished third in the Premier League, were knocked out of the FA Cup in the semi-finals and exited both the Champions League and EFL Cup at the last-16 stage.

Chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak described the season as “disappointing”, but the club believe the 46-year-old is now reaping the benefit of that campaign.

As well as topping the Premier League, his team visit Leicester in the EFL Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, and face Swiss side FC Basel in the last 16 of the Champions League in February.

BBC Sport has been told the City executives never doubted Guardiola would succeed, even though last season was the first during his career in which he did not win a trophy.

Their feeling is the Spaniard underestimated the intensity of the Premier League and endured intense frustration as he wrestled with what he regards as the greatest challenge of his career.

After Guardiola revamped the playing side of the club at Bayern, City are extremely confident he will stay to continue his impressive work in Manchester.

Whether he is able to bring Champions League success remains to be seen, with City’s best result so far reaching the semi-finals in 2016.

But those in power at City have noted with some admiration that Real Madrid have won the competition in three of the past four seasons, and are keeping that aspiration in mind.

  • Analysis: Can Man City eclipse Premier League greats?

Guardiola’s transfer-market work bearing fruit

Guardiola’s transfer dealings since he became City manager have surprised some, particularly his relatively quick decision Joe Hart was not part of his plans.

The idea the England number one – a veteran of two Premier League-winning campaigns – could not meet the manager’s demands for a ball-playing goalkeeper met with from resistance inside the club.

However, Guardiola’s insistence held sway, though he privately concedes his initial choice to replace him – former Barcelona keeper Claudio Bravo – failed.

The club signed Ederson Moraes – who some in City’s hierarchy were not familiar with – from Benfica for £35m in the summer.

The Brazilian has conceded just 12 goals in 18 league games while offering a calming presence on the ball.

Another surprise was City’s willingness to spend £47.5m to prise John Stones from Everton in August 2016, a deal which made the Yorkshireman the second most expensive defender of all time.

Stones struggled initially, and was dropped after a 4-2 defeat at Leicester on 10 December.

At the time, the 23-year-old doubted he was capable of meeting the exacting standards Guardiola expects from his central defenders.

The Catalan does not want his defenders to play long balls out of defence, instead demanding they use short passes to rotate possession through the team.

But Stones started 11 of the first 12 Premier League games this season before getting injured against Leicester.

News Reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.