Men's Team

Guardiola: De Bruyne commitment a compliment to this football club

Guardiola: De Bruyne commitment a compliment to this football club
Pep Guardiola says Kevin De Bruyne’s decision to sign a new contract is a huge compliment to Manchester City.

De Bruyne penned an extension this week, keeping him tied to the Club until the summer of 2025, by which time he will have clocked up a milestone decade at the Etihad.

Given the transient nature of football, it’s unusual to see such a lengthy commitment, but De Bruyne joins the likes of Vicnent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero as recent players who have stayed at City long-term and given their best years to the club.

Guardiola, who himself has been here for five seasons, longer than he has spent managing any other side, says given De Bruyne could have played for any team in world football, his decision to remain in Manchester reflects well on the environment City provides for its players.

“We are delighted with these players [who stay here for a long time] - hopefully more can join them,” he said.

“I can talk about myself. I have been here five years and I will be two more, if the situation goes well.

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“The club helps us. I am glad Kevin who has the world in his hands and can play for anyone, decides to stay with us. It’s a big compliment for Manchester City.

“I am never involved in contracts - it belongs with Txiki and the club. But my personal opinion is I am more than delighted.

"Hopefully we can take a good step forward in the future.

"If the club is satisfied and Kevin is satisfied, there is a third person satisfied and it’s me. Congratulations to Kevin.”

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City face Leeds United on Saturday as our quest to win a third Premier League title in four seasons continues.

We need a maximum of 11 points from our remaining seven league fixtures to seal the title, with the game against Marcelo Bielsa’s side an opportunity to edge closer to our target.

And Guardiola, a huge admirer of Bielsa’s approach, says it will be a testing game, just as the reverse fixture at Elland Road was back in October. 

“If there is one person who can find the secrets, it is him. His work ethic, his knowledge of the game...I know how tough tomorrow at 12.30pm will be.

"I hope we are prepared to compete. We are four games away and tomorrow is a big step.

"The players know from the first game how difficult it was and tomorrow will not be an exception.

"Being promoted last season, already safe with 42 points and seven games left - they have done incredibly well all season. 

“I admire a lot of things they do, especially how they behave on the pitch. It doesn't matter the opposition or competition. They demand you do things you are not used to.

"It’s a challenge. We are so close - we need three wins and one draw - and when you play at home it is an opportunity.”

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