Fabian Delph has expressed his desire to stay on at Manchester City for a third season, despite enduring a difficult two years at the club that have seen him languish on the bench.
The 27-year-old made his first start of the 2016/17 season on Wednesday night as City succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea, taking his tally of league appearances under Pep Guardiola to just six.
Sine controversially joining City in July 2015 for £8m, Delph has now featured in a total of 23 Premier League games with both injury and competition keeping him of the club's starting XI.
As Guardiola prepares to overhaul his ageing squad this summer, the midfielder has been linked with a return to Leeds United where he made his senior professional debut.
But after an encouraging display at Stamford Bridge, Delph has made it clear he wishes to stay on at City.
When asked if he hopes to remain at the club next season, the midfielder replied: “Yes, of course.
“I’m working with the best management team in the world, as far as I’m concerned, the best players in the world, we’ve got great chemistry, a lot of the boys we’re very close and of course I’d love to be a part of that.
“We’ll have to see what happens at the end of the season.”
Guardiola, whose team remain in fourth following Wednesday’s defeat, admitted after the game that he has been wrong to overlook Delph this season.
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“Congratulations to Fabian Delph,” he said. “He showed me how wrong I was not to put him on the field. He never complains.”
Following what has been a disappointing season for both himself and Manchester City, the midfielder argued that the club has undergone an important learning curve.
“We’ve gone through the first year, we’ve learnt a lot,” he continued. “I certainly look at football a lot differently. So hopefully the boys can pick themselves up, can see the season through, win the FA Cup, finish in the top four, and come back ready to go again.”
As for the rest of the season, Delph has set his side the target of seeing out their remaining games unbeaten.
“I’d like the team go unbeaten until the end of the season,” he added.
“We’ve got to pick ourselves up, we can hold our heads high after the performance tonight. I thought we were the better team… I think we’ve deserved a lot better.
“And going forward we’ve got to just take each game as it comes. We’ve got the FA Cup, and we’ve got quite a few more Premier League games.
“We like to take the positives out of it but obviously it’s frustrating [losing to Chelsea]. Nobody likes losing. But we’ve got to pick ourselves up and hopefully get the win against Hull.”