Friday, December 4, 2020

Guardiola signs City deal: Champions League the focus point for Pep – Arteta

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 Nov 2020

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Winning the Champions League will be the “focus point” for Pep Guardiola after extending his Manchester City stay, says his former assistant Mikel Arteta.

City announced on Thursday that Guardiola has signed a new two-year contract that will keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2023.

The extended terms mean the Catalan is set to be with the Premier League club for seven years, surpassing his four seasons with Barcelona – his longest stint in charge of one club.

Guardiola cited “unfinished business” as a key reason for his decision to prolong his relationship with City and Arteta, who worked under the former Bayern Munich coach for three years before departing for Arsenal last December, believes Champions League success will be his top priority.

“I’m very pleased for him as he’s never been so long at a football club, so the fact he’s extending his contract means he’s extremely happy there, that he’s found his place, that he feels valued there and has the chemistry with players, fans and ownership,” said Arteta.

“I want the best for him and if he’s extended it means he’s very happy and he feels that’s the best place for him to continue his career, so congratulations.

“Knowing him and his ambitions and how competitive he is, unfinished business means he wants to win every competition every year for sure.

“If he needs to win the four domestic trophies again and he can do it I’m sure he’s going to try. Obviously, Europe is a massive thing and he wants to move the club towards the Champions League win and that’s his way.

“In the medium to long term that was one of the things he wanted to achieved, so I’m sure it will be a focus point.”

Arsenal will look to bounce back from a 3-0 home defeat against Aston Villa when they face Leeds United in the Premier League at Elland Road on Sunday.

However, they will be without Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac after the duo tested positive for coronavirus, while Thomas Partey remains sidelined with a thigh problem.

Asked if he knew when Partey will return, he said: “No. Well he picked up an injury very early in the [Villa] game. He tried to carry on and wanted to continue the second half and we knew it was a significant injury.

“He’s working very hard, he wants to be available. Hopefully we can get him back soon but it’s an area we have to be careful with and a bit protective of the player.”

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