Sheikh Mansour and Man City’s stance on Pep Guardiola’s future

Sheikh Mansour is confident that Manchester City are well positioned to build on their success over the last decade to achieve his ambitions for the club over the next ten years.

That is according to the City owner’s trusted chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, who gave a positive assessment of City’s ‘dynasty’ over the last ten years in English football.

And the chairman also detailed what persuaded him to offer Pep Guardiola a new contract after the pair met in November, before feeding back to the owner, as Al-Mubarak offered an insight into the club’s intention to try and keep their illustrious manager after 2023.

Speaking in his end of season interview, Al-Mubarak said of the owner: “I know Sheikh Mansour is immensely proud.

“His vision going back to 2008 of what he expected and wanted in the next 10-12 years, I think has been achieved. As we look at the next ten years, his vision of what he hopes to achieve with this club, I believe we are well positioned to achieve that.

“We look at the past with pride. I look at the future with foundations. Today the foundation is there. The blocks have been built, the foundation is strong, the confidence is there. This journey continues and I look forward to it.”

Reflecting on a season that started poorly before an incredible run between December and March took control of the league and built momentum for the Champions League, the chairman said there were never any doubts from the club about Guardiola’s ability.

“I never had a doubt,” he said, going into his meeting with the Guardiola before they agreed a new contract for the manager.

“It’s easy to say in hindsight. Pep’s record speaks for itself. His record with us here at this club. Seeing his passion, his work ethic, his commitment. You cannot be but confident. Another important thing with Pep is his humanity. He’s a very special human being. I knew he was in a tough spot, a low point in November just before he signed his contract.

“I look back to our meeting back then when we saw together, had long discussions, and really had that refresh, that realignment. We needed to look each other in the eye and have that. I saw a man that was so disappointed in his mind for not delivering what he felt he needed to deliver for this club. A man that had so much hunger and desire but just wanted to deliver and felt that he let us down.

“But he didn’t, and this is where I needed to be clear with him. You have seasons in which you don’t achieve what you want to achieve. But you need to keep going and have that trust and confidence. We were ninth in the league, but both of us knew this team could win the league. Covid didn’t help, normally that physical contact is so important and not having that affected everyone. Just sitting together, making sure we were both aligned and that he saw the direction we wanted to go and vice versa. At the end of it, it was really not that hard

“We left that meeting at the end with a clear agreement that we’re going to go on another run. I remember feeling it, leaving that something special was going to happen and I think he felt the same way.

“After we agreed, I told Sheikh Mansour, ‘I think we’re going to win this Premier League this year, I think we’re going to go far in the Champions League.’ He looked at me and said, ‘You got that from that meeting? Two/three days with Pep?’ And I said, ‘Yes’.”

With the owner on board – and with two more trophies to add to his collection this year – City fans might now start to look forward to a future with or without Pep Guardiola.

And Al-Mubarak had more positive news, and he promised fans that they will do everything in their power to keep Guardiola as long as possible.

“Pep has given so much to this club and this period is the Golden Era of this club,” he explained.

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“As long as he can and is able, without a shadow of a doubt we’ll do everything we can to keep Pep at this club. We need to enjoy the season now and the season after which he’s committed to.

“And then we’ll take it, we’ll go as we go, this partnership has been a great partnership. He’s in the right environment, he’s got the right infrastructure around him. We have the greatest trust and the greatest relationship, and we’ve achieved so much. The journey goes on and will go on as long as Pep is happy and we’re happy.

“To the fans I say be positive, be confident, enjoy these moments. Enjoy this season, and we’ll take it one season at a time.”