09 Mar Manchester City boss Guardiola plays down contract news
Pep Guardiola has played down reports he is close to signing a new contract at Manchester City.
It was claimed earlier this week the City manager’s agent Josep Maria Orobitg was due to fly to Manchester to conclude fresh terms with the club on behalf of his client.
Guardiola, who has one more full season remaining on his present contract, insists that is not the case.
He said: “Sometimes a journalist receives bad information. My agent is not in town – was not, is not, will not be in town in the next weeks.”
City are keen to secure the services of Guardiola for the long term and talks had been planned for the summer.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss, who took charge at the Etihad Stadium in 2016, has overseen an outstanding campaign.
City, who are 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League, are just four wins away from securing the title. They have already won the Carabao Cup and are also through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Guardiola acknowledges that they are closing in on glory but stresses the job is not completed yet.
He said: “The distance is not normal in the beginning of March. It’s like I said before, it’s almost done.
“But we are not the champions. The champions are still Chelsea. We have to get the points as soon as possible, knowing that we have the opportunity.
“I know everyone wants to anticipate the situation and what will happen, everyone is thinking about when we will win the title.
“But the best example was two days ago. Nobody thought we could lose against Basel and we lost against Basel. We need to be relaxed, stay calm and think about Stoke City.”
City were beaten 2-1 by the Swiss champions, their first home loss for 18 months, but it did not prevent them going through to the Champions League last eight 5-2 on aggregate.
They now return to league action as they travel to Stoke on Monday. City thrashed the Potters 7-2 when they met earlier in the campaign but Guardiola is not thrilled about the prospect of a trip to the bet365 Stadium on a Monday night.
He said: “I don’t like to play on Monday because at the weekend everybody is involved and when the weekend is over, they are like ‘the weekend is over, there are no more games’, but we have to play.
“I don’t know if the players can be ready, but we are going to work on that these next few days.”