Omar Berrada hopes a proven winner can be kept in the dugout at the Etihad Stadium, while an Argentine frontman could agree fresh terms

Retaining the services of Pep Guardiola remains a “priority” for Manchester City, claims the club’s chief operating officer Omar Berrada, with it possible that both the Catalan coach and star striker Sergio Aguero could commit to new contracts.

As it stands, both are due to see their current deals expire in the summer of 2021.

Guardiola has remained coy when it comes to his future plans, with a spell at the Etihad Stadium already the longest of his distinguished coaching career to date.

It has been suggested that he will walk away if Champions League glory proves elusive once again this season, but Berrada hopes fresh terms can be thrashed out.

He has told the Manchester Evening News: “Our priority is Pep staying, so if it requires a bit of time it requires a bit of time but we want him to stay.

“There’s an element of being prepared [to make a decision] but at the same time he has demonstrated enough and in terms of his performances as a manager and the team he has shown enough commitment and we have also shown commitment to him.

“There’s a lot of trust in that relationship – with the chairman, with Txiki [Begiristain], with Ferran [Soriano], Pep and his coaching staff and when you have that level of trust in the relationship the conversations are much easier. I think we’ll be fine throughout this process.

“Clearly, Pep was the best manager, is the best manager, and will continue to be the best manager in the world. He has proven that at Barcelona, at Bayern and with us and we want him to stay and feel comfortable being with us.

“This is his fifth season working with us, which he’s never done with any other club. That is a testament to his commitment, which is great. Those conversations will happen at the right time.”

As Guardiola keeps City guessing, Aguero is doing likewise.

He has been tipped to walk away as a free agent next summer, but Berrada believes the club’s all-time leading goalscorer can be convinced to stay put.

He added: “I think you will see that with top players like Sergio and managers they have to feel that they can keep contributing to the team and being important for the squad. We’re all ambitious, they’re ambitious and they want to contribute.

“With Sergio we’re expecting another amazing season for him and then the conversation about his future will be had but right now we’re just focused on him getting back from his injury and performing as he has been doing up until now.

“For every single position we have to be prepared because there can be so many things that can happen but at the same time I think we have the financial strength and system ability to make that investment when required.

“That’s what puts us in a position where we feel comfortable that we’ll be able to take the right decision because it also doesn’t mean that we’ll have to rush into anything – first because Sergio and Gabriel [Jesus] are performing very well, they are two of the best strikers in the world right now, and when we do decide to bring in potentially someone else, whether it is next season or the one after that, then we will be in a financial position to do it for the right price.

“In normal circumstances we have the financial strength and sustainability and a base to be able to make a significant investment if we decide it is the right route to go down.”



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