Pep Guardiola: I would have taken a break if I left Man City next year

Pep Guardiola reveals he would have taken a break from football had he not decided to sign a new two-year deal at Man City as he claims he wants Lionel Messi to end his career at Barcelona… despite plans to sign him next summer

  • Pep Guardiola claims he would have taken a year off had he left Man City  
  • The Spanish manager signed a new contract at the club until 2023 this week
  • Guardiola’s City take on Jose Mourinho’s high-flying Tottenham on Saturday 
  • The City boss hopes club transfer target Lionel Messi ends his career in Spain

Pep Guardiola revealed he would have taken a sabbatical from management had his association with Manchester City come to an end this season.

The City boss signed a new two-year deal on Thursday, putting an end to speculation over his future and offering clarity on the club’s direction this campaign.

Guardiola claimed he had no plans to jump into another job had he decided to leave the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola says he would have taken a break had he left Manchester City next summer

Guardiola (middle) signed a new two-year contract at Manchester City until 2023 this week

‘I would have taken a break,’ Guardiola said. ‘The decision is not just mine. We felt (here) it was enough. We have many things to do. We are comfortable all together and do what we’ve done in the previous seasons.

‘I’m so grateful to continue. The club are the reason why I’m still here. They gave me a lot in these five seasons. We want to continue to do our best for our people.

‘All the managers in the big clubs and here to win titles. We’ve done incredibly well, winning eight titles. The target is not that, the target is to win tomorrow. We speak with the board, analyse what we can do, everyone knows how difficult it is.’

Guardiola’s (left) City take on Jose Mourinho’s (right) high-flying Tottenham on Saturday 

City can go two points behind Tottenham with a game in hand should they win away at Jose Mourinho’s side on Saturday evening. 

Guardiola can call on Raheem Sterling after the forward’s withdrawal from international duty, while Sergio Aguero has trained all week following a hamstring injury.

Longer term, City want to sign Lionel Messi and Guardiola added: ‘Messi is a Barcelona player. If you ask me my opinion, I have a huge gratitude for Barcelona for what they did for me, I want him to finish his career there.

‘I would love (that) as a Barcelona fan. His contract finishes this year and I don’t know what happens in his mind. The transfer market will be in June or July. I cannot say anything else.’

Guardiola hopes that Manchester City target Lionel Messi (above) ends his career at Barcelona

Guardiola also questioned the assertions of Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, that supporters could return to stadiums before the New Year.

‘I want to listen to science, the doctors – not politicians,’ he said. ‘We want the people back to the stadiums, of course. People are dying all around the world, a lot of people. Until the vaccine is not here and secure… I don’t know if I want to risk it, to put more people there and contaminate.

‘We saw the statistics here in the UK and it’s rising every day. I’d like us to follow what the science is saying. They will know exactly what we have to do.’ 

The City boss questions Oliver Dowden’s (above) claims that fans could return before January

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