Samir Nasri says Pep Guardiola will be a “lucky man” to have him at Manchester City next season because he is “going to be really hungry”.
Nasri scored the winner against West Brom on Saturday on his first start since September after recovering from surgery on a serious thigh injury.
Looking ahead to next season, Nasri expects to return a hungrier player and believes Guardiola will reap the reward.
He said: “When the pre-season starts I am going to be fresh and I am going to try to perform, because when you have been out for so long you are more hungry when you come back.
“You don’t want to waste your time, you want to be back with a bang and good for the team.
“If I stay working with Pep Guardiola – if he wants me – he’s just going to be a lucky man because I am going to be really hungry.”
Nasri intends to discuss his role with Guardiola when the new man takes over from Pellegrini in the summer and is confident he can fit into the Spaniard’s system.
He said: “You have to discuss with the manager when there is a new manager, so you know (where you stand).
“I just know that I am the type of player for his philosophy and the way he likes his team to play.
“I will have a chat with him because I am going to be really hungry and want to play.”
No Champions League for Nasri
City host PSG in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, but Nasri cannot play after being left out of the squad for the knockout stages by Manuel Pellegrini.
“It was something I was really okay with,” said Nasri of his Champions League exclusion, which allowed striker Kelechi Iheanacho to be added. “When I had surgery the target was to maybe play one game before the end of the season.
“We are five weeks ahead of schedule, so I am just happy to be there, playing and to help the team.
“The only thing is it is PSG and I am from Marseille. That is like United against us.
“But that is just about it. I am going to be with the team and try to help them. It is something historic and you need to think about the big picture, that to be in the last four in Europe is something major.”
Nasri: We must make top four
Nasri’s prime emotions at the moment are of happiness and relief after making such a successful return to the side.
“It felt amazing,” the 28-year-old said. “I was a bit tired by the end of the game but the fact I started and played again was just great.”
Nasri looked one of City’s livelier players in what was a subdued performance after Pellegrini made five changes for the return to Premier League action.
City had to come from behind after Stephane Sessegnon fired a superb sixth-minute opener and then, after Sergio Aguero’s penalty and Nasri’s 66th-minute tap-in turned the game, hang on.
Saido Berahino twice went close in the latter stages and James McClean shot just wide in injury time, while Sandro had a strong penalty appeal declined.
But for City the points were important as they try to hold off the challenge of Manchester United for fourth spot and even look to take third from Arsenal.
Nasri said: “It was really important to close the gap with Arsenal, bearing in mind we have to play them at home.
“For us there is no way we cannot play Champions League next year. We want to be part of a big club, being top four every year and one of the best teams in Europe. We have to perform and make sure we play Champions League next year.”