Pep Guardiola plays down talk of Manchester City exit after current deal

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Pep Guardiola has denied saying he intends to leave Manchester City when his current contract expires in 2023.

The City manager was quoted after speaking at a Brazilian business forum held over Zoom that he would leave the club after seven years at the helm.

The Spaniard has now clarified his remarks, however, pointing out that he merely said he will take a break from the game when he eventually does leave City.

Guardiola has guided City to three Premier League titles
Guardiola has guided City to three Premier League titles (Dave Thompson/PA)

Speaking at a press conference, Guardiola said: “I am not thinking to leave after two years. I can leave in two months if the results aren’t good or the organisation isn’t happy with me. I can leave in three months or five years.

“What I said is after my period at City I will take a break. It can be in one month, two years, five years. Right now I don’t have reasons to leave.”

City’s hopes of signing Harry Kane from Tottenham were dashed this week when the England captain announced he would be staying with the London club.

The Premier League champions had been heavily linked with Kane throughout the summer but Spurs were unwilling to sell.

Guardiola said: “The club did absolutely everything but we didn’t talk about Tottenham, not even one offer, because they didn’t want to negotiate. When one team doesn’t want to negotiate, there is nothing to say.”

City had been keen to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham
City had been keen to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham (Adam Davy/PA)

Guardiola confirmed playmaker Kevin De Bruyne remains unavailable for the champions’ Premier League clash with Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday due to an ankle problem.

He said: “He is getting better but still is not fit.”

City face an Arsenal side that have lost their opening two league matches, results which have increased scrutiny on manager, and Guardiola’s former assistant, Mikel Arteta.

Guardiola said: “Two games – they have played two games, not 20 or 50 fixtures. Sometimes I think we managers are crazy to do the job.

“They trust Mikel because they spent money to reinforce the team. Why don’t you give more time to the teams to build what they want to build? You need time.”

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