Guardiola as Germany coach? I would sign him instantly - Gundogan

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Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Manchester City v Borussia Moenchengladbach

(Reuters) - If Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola ever became available, Germany should instantly sign him as their national team coach, Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said on Tuesday.

Gundogan, who plays for City under the Spaniard, said it was nevertheless unlikely that Guardiola, who has led City to two Premier League titles, would succeed Germany's Joachim Loew, who will step down after 15 years following this summer's Euros.

"I would personally hire him instantly but I think that would be difficult as he is not currently available," Gundogan told a virtual news conference ahead of the World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia on Wednesday.

"I also don't know if I would like to be without him at City," the midfielder said.

Guardiola has won an array of titles as coach of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City, who again lead the title race this season.

Loew, who steered Germany to the 2014 World Cup title, has decided to leave two years ahead of his contract expiry following a disappointing 2018 World Cup campaign and a recent bad run of results including a 6-0 loss to Spain last year.

Several coaches, including Bayern Munich's Hansi Flick, a former Loew assistant, have been linked with the high profile job in media reports.

"I don't know what will happen," Gundogan said. "We will have two, three good final months with Joachim Loew and give him the departure that he deserves after everything he has done for us."

The Germans have beaten Iceland and Romania to top Group J on six points, ahead of Armenia on goal difference, and they face North Macedonia in Duisburg on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson)