Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Guardiola says decisions are made on out-of-contract Manchester City stars

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 May 2017

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Pep Guardiola says decisions have been made on the futures of a number of Manchester City stars who are out of contract at the end of the season, although the players have not been told.

A contingent of experienced first-team players including Willy Caballero, Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Jesus Navas and Yaya Toure, along with youngster Tosin Adarabioyo, are understood to be in the final few weeks of their deals at the Etihad Stadium.

It is reported that Navas and Adarabioyo at least will be offered extensions, although the others are looking increasingly likely to leave.

Guardiola says he has plans in place but will not inform the players themselves until after the last game of the campaign against Watford.

“It doesn’t depend on if they are going to play the last few games of the season,” Guardiola told a news conference when asked about their futures. “The decision is already made and we are going to communicate that after the season.

“Of course the club is going to do it properly, like always, in the best way to do that.

“But still we are fighting for something so important for the future of the club, so now we have to be focused on what we have to do.

“Internally, we are going to discuss next season and the players we believe can help us a lot to be stronger.”

City face Leicester City on Saturday looking for a win that will take them a step further towards guaranteeing a top-four finish.

Guardiola, who confirmed Ilkay Gundogan and Claudio Bravo are the only definite absences through injury, is confident in City’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League and of a better season in 2017-18.

“It’s been intense, fun. I enjoy it,” he said of his first season in England. 

“I expected a fight until the end in the Premier League, fighting for the league until the last four or five games. I am so optimistic that we can qualify for the Champions League. I think we will be better next season.”

Guardiola added that Toure will be given a special birthday cake after the Leicester match, with the midfielder turning 34 on Saturday.

“We’re going to buy him as big a cake as possible!” he added. “We’ll do that after the game on Saturday.”

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