Man City manager Pep Guardiola has indicated his desire to keep Ilkay Gundogan at the club beyond the end of his current contract, which expires next year. The Germany international refused to commit his future to the Citizens, admitting he could be tempted by challenges elsewhere when his current deal is finished. He did also imply that he is happy at the club, however – and so the former Barcelona boss is seemingly no closer to knowing whether to plan for life without Gundogan beyond next season’s climax or not.
The 28-year-old stated that while no new deal is on the table just yet, he is presently directing his attentions to help deliver as many trophies to the Eastlands cabinet as he possibly can. Speaking at the club’s Uefa Champions League press conference, Gundogan said: “I am 28 years old, my next contract will maybe decide where I will be until the end of their career. Everyone feels different, maybe someone feels like a new challenge or to change something. I am always open-minded for challenges. It’s a personal situation. It’s not obvious but everyone has to make their own decision. “At the moment I try to play as good as possible and I guess after the season we will sit and talk again. My main target at the moment is to go for all the competitions and be successful.”
Gundogan was Guardiola’s first signing after the Spaniard’s appointment at City, arriving from Borussia Dortmund in 2016. He missed half of the following campaign after suffering knee ligament damage just before Christmas. That injury resulted in City players all wearing “Gundogan” shirts in homage to their team-mate, and he would not play again until a few weeks into the following season. With City bringing a 3-2 lead into their home clash with Schalke 04 in the Champions League on Tuesday night, they are still in the hunt for all four trophies in which they have competed in this season. Currently sitting atop the Premier League, and in the quarter-final of the FA Cup as well as having already wrapped up the Carabao Cup it seems difficult to predict just where City may falter, if anywhere.
If you are a betting man (for all the latest odds on your chosen market then click here) then the safest bet may see them faltering on the European front, but without seeing the next round draw it really is a tough one to call. One can surmise, however, that another trophy or two this season would surely see Gundogan inclined to remain in the north West – but the player has admitted that he feels no pressure to put pen to paper just yet. Speaking on the topic, Guardiola said: “I said in the press conference we would like to [extend him] but it depends on the club and him so I don’t know. Hopefully he can stay. I would prefer him to stay but at the same time I want to feel he wants to stay too.”