All the talk of late has been about Manchester City signing promising Argentinian striker Julian Alvarez, but away from the transfer market the Blues have been busy making sure their current stars remain at the Etihad Stadium for years to come.
On Tuesday City announced that Joao Cancelo has signed a new five-year contract, keeping him at the club until 2027. The Portuguese full-back is the latest of Pep Guardiola’s players to pen a lengthy extension over the past 12 months, following in the footsteps of Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones, Ruben Dias, Ederson and Liam Delap.
The question now is, who’s next? Taking into account the time remaining on current deals and their importance to the team, City Is Ours ranked some of City’s stars in order of priority.
Riyad Mahrez has 18 months left on his current deal, but while he is an important member of Guardiola’s squad and is a key source of goals, he may not have many years ahead of him in City’s best XI.
At 30 years old Mahrez is one of City’s older attackers, and with Alvarez and Cole Palmer set to provide competition for the right-wing spot in the coming years, it might not be wise to offer the Algerian a long-term deal. A shorter-term deal might be the answer.
Gabriel Jesus’ current deal also expires in June 2023. The Brazilian has contributed a lot as both a striker and a winger over the past five years, but he cannot claim to be a crucial player for City.
That said, he is one of the Blues’ hardest workers and is a versatile attacker who Guardiola clearly likes. At 24 years old he still has a lot more to give.
Raheem Sterling’s time at City looked to be coming to an end last year, as poor form and tensions with Guardiola sparked rumors of a move to Barcelona.
Over the past two months Sterling has returned to his best. If he keeps that form up then City should not hesitate to keep the England star beyond the 2023 expiration of his current contract.
Let’s be honest, there is little chance that the boyhood City fans are going to want to leave the club any time soon, even if he felt he could get a better deal elsewhere.
However, football clubs should pay their best players what they are worth and there are few better than Foden. His current deal from him does not expire until 2024, although he agreed to those terms in 2018 when he was still very much a young prospect. Time to tie the Stockport Iniesta down for the long-term.
At 31 years old Ilkay Gundogan is one of City’s older players and his current deal expires in 2023. But with Fernandinho looking likely to leave at the end of the season, Guardiola will not want to have another midfielder with just months left on his contract.
City don’t really have anyone else that can control the tempo of play like the German can, so an extension of a year or two would do nicely.
Rodri is arguably City’s most important player now, a rare breed of holding midfielder perfectly suited to Guardiola’s system and tactics.
While the Spaniard’s current contract runs until 2025, he was signed in the summer of 2019 along with Cancelo. The Portuguese full-back has just penned a two-year extension, and so should Rodri.
City must keep this man at all costs.
Bernardo Silva has another three-and-a-half years left on his contract, but following two consecutive summers in which he has asked to leave the club, he finally looks happy with both playing at City and living in Manchester.
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City have no other players that possess the balance of creative brilliance and relentless work rate that Bernardo does. No team in the world does. Securing Bernardo’s commitment to the club would be the deal of the year.
Pep is more important than any player. His current contract expires in 18 months. Get it done, Txiki.
Who do you think City should offer a contract extension to next? Follow our City Is Ours writer Alex Brotherton on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.