Pep on City future: ‘Closer to leaving than staying’

Football

Pep Guardiola has hinted that next season could be his last as Manchester City manager.

Guardiola led his team to a record fourth consecutive English title with a 3-1 win over West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

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He has a contract until 2025 which he intends to honour, but the 53-year-old suggested he may not sign another new deal.

“The reality is I am closer to leaving than staying,” Guardiola said.

“We have talked with the club and my feeling is that I want to stay now. I will stay next season and during the season we will talk. But after eight or nine years, we will see.”

Guardiola has now won 15 major trophies in eight years at City and could make it 16 with an FA Cup final against Manchester United to come next weekend.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss admitted he is “tired” and said he will need to find fresh “motivation” over the summer before beginning the new season in August.

“I have a contract, I’m still here,” he said. “Some of the moments I’m a bit tired but some of the moments I love and we are here winning games, looking good with new players.

“I start to think about ‘no-one has done four in a row, why don’t we try?’ And now I feel it’s done, so what next?

“Right now I don’t know what exactly the motivation is to do it because it’s difficult to find it when everything is done.”

If Guardiola follows through on his commitment to stay at City next season, he is expecting Arsenal to challenge again for the title.

Mikel Arteta’s team have finished second in the last two campaigns and after they amassed 89 points this term, Guardiola said he’s “got the message.”

“Before it was Liverpool to push our limits and now it was Arsenal,” Guardiola said.

“I want to congratulate them from the depths of my heart, for Mikel his staff and players. They have had an incredible season. I feel it and they push us to our best like before. We got the message from Mikel and his players. We have to make the right decisions in the next years because they are here to stay. “

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