Man City contract spree hints at biggest signing yet as Pep Guardiola wish is granted – Alex Brotherton

Manchester City are on a mission to sign up their most prized talents to new contracts and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

Joao Cancelo put pen to paper on a new deal on Tuesday, the latest first-team regular to commit his long-term future to Pep Guardiola’s side.

Over the past 12 months the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones, Ruben Dias and Ederson have all renewed terms, deals that are perhaps more important to City’s future success than any new signing in the transfer market.

The same can be said of two of City’s most promising young talents, Cole Palmer and James McAtee. The former signed a new contract back in June and, after a month of speculation and loan offers, the latter did the same on Wednesday.

Tying down McAtee is particularly encouraging given that he was at one stage keen to seek more minutes with a loan move. City and Guardiola have clearly convinced him that staying at the Etihad-under the tutelage of Pep-is the best path for his development and his chances at the club.

The Times now report that City are confident Bernardo Silva will agree to a new deal, a player who in the past two years has twice asked to leave the club. Footballing reasons were not the main motives behind his requests from him, but they certainly are for his renewed interest in staying.

Talks with Phil Foden have been ongoing for a few months now, but it is expected he will commit his future to his boyhood club in the not too distant future.

All this is brilliant for City – what club wouldn’t want to keep their best players and exciting prospects? But the spree of new contracts suggests that the most important contract renewal of them all could be on the horizon.

Guardiola’s current deal expires in June 2023, at which point he will have been at the club for seven years. He has now already managed City for longer than he did Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and the willingness of all these players to pledge their long-term futures to the Blues perhaps suggests they know that Pep will stay longer.

Guardiola is a huge reason why footballers decide to join City and why City’s stars rarely leave. Whether it be his unique style of football, his ability to improve and develop players or just the promise of silverware, players want to play for him.

Pep Guardiola is a fan of a midfielder Arsenal are said to be interested in signing
Pep Guardiola is on a contract spree

The Times’ report on Bernardo’s possible new deals adds that several of Guardiola’s current crop of players see City as the best club in the world for those who like to play possession-based football. City have Guardiola to thank him for their style, but if he were to leave, there is no guarantee that another manager could uphold that reputation.

Such a revelation only adds fuel to the fire regarding Pep’s possible contract renewal. The likes of Bernardo, Cancelo, McAtee and Palmer are all creative players, either brought up with Pep’s style and methods or fully immersed in them. It’s hard to imagine they would all commit to City without Guardiola giving them at least an inkling that he will follow suit.

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Likewise, it seems unlikely that McAtee would have been persuaded that there is a path to the City first-team for him without assurances that Guardiola will be around to oversee his development.

Guardiola and City are unlikely to hold and discuss about the coach’s future until the end of the season, as he prefers to tackle the matters at hand; in this instance, the Premier League title race and another Champions League trophy charge.

But rest assured, if City’s contract spree continues, Guardiola’s name could be pretty high up on the list.

Do you think that Pep Guardiola will extend his stay at City beyond 2023? 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.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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