Pep Guardiola is adamant he would like to “stay longer” at Manchester City, despite Barcelona’s presidential candidate vowing to bring him back to the Nou Camp.
The City boss is in the final year of his contract at the Etihad Stadium. As such, speculation over his future is likely to increase as the season goes on.
Victor Font, a candidate to be the next Barcelona president, has expressed a desire to take Guardiola back to the Nou Camp.
Asked about this, Guardiola said: “I am incredibly happy here. I’m delighted to be in Manchester and I hope I can do a good job this season to stay longer.”
Guardiola’s pledge comes in the wake of one pundit claiming the Catalonian’s powers as a manager may be on the decline.
Guardiola urges Premier League subs re-think
City have had to deal with a host of injuries in the early part of the season. And Guardiola feels it’s a problem that has been exacerbated by the shortened summer break and the intensity of the pandemic-affected calendar.
Other clubs have also been affected. As such, Guardiola has urged the Premier League to consider reverting to allowing five substitutes, as they did in the closing stages of last season.
Guardiola said: “Definitely they should, 100 per cent. It is not about one club. There are statistics, which they don’t deny, the Premier League, that there are 47 per cent more muscular injuries than the previous season.
“All the leagues – Germany, Spain – have five substitutions to protect the players. I hope they can reconsider.”
Guardiola does not yet have a clear timeframe for when record scorer Sergio Aguero will be able to return.
Aguero suffered a hamstring injury in last week’s draw at West Ham and could be out for up to a month.
Guardiola said: “He is progressing. He is still is not available to train with us but is progressing.”
Gabriel Jesus and Nathan Ake have also been sidelined but are closer to returning. Benjamin Mendy looks set to be out longer.
Guardiola said: “Gabriel is getting better, Nathan is getting better. The others we will check today but Mendy can’t train.”