Nils Nielsen has explained that extending players’ contracts at Manchester City remains a key target for the Club over the coming months.

Our Women’s Director of Football recently sat down with City Studios to reflect on a hugely successful season so far and outline the Club’s exciting future both on and off the pitch.

One key achievement has been committing key players’ futures to the Joie Stadium, with the likes of Leila Ouahabi, Khiara Keating, Yui Hasegawa and Gareth Taylor all signing extensions this season.

And Nielsen is hopeful that there could soon be more City stars joining that list.

He said: “That was the main target [to extend players’ contracts]. Like I said when I came, we had the talent here, we need to make sure we can build on those.

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“Leila’s brought a lot of experience and calmness to the team and is always smiling and positive.

“These are the kind of people we want to keep. Khiara’s had an amazing season and has done really well so I’m obviously very happy we managed to sign a good deal with her and I’m hoping she’ll be here a long time.

“And if we’re talking about Yui, I don’t see a better midfielder in the league. So to commit her to a long contract [is great].

“I’m pretty sure that she’s so happy here and fits so well into the game model that if we wanted to even extend again she’d probably do it because she just fits in.

“I hope so [there will be more extensions]. We’re in dialogue with several players we want to extend. I will let you know when we get it across the line!”

Nielsen also highlighted the impressive work currently taking place in our academy system.

In December 2023, Karen Bardsley was appointed Girls’ Academy Manager, and the former City goalkeeper has built on the fantastic work done by Jayne Ludlow over the following months.

Our Director of Football outlined hopes of increasing the number of academy teams from three to five, while also emphasising the importance of homegrown talent in our current squad and in our overall strategy for the years to come.


“The number of talents in the youth department are increasing constantly,” Nielsen explained.

“We’re so lucky to be in a place where they actually support this, the growth of the academy is faster than we actually planned for but I know a Club like this will applaud that.

“There’s definitely someone to look at and say ‘wow, it can be done here’. I’m very happy to see how well they’re doing.

“I hope that will be the main source of recruitment over the next few years.

“In the future the target clearly is that we can get the talent in that we need from our own academy, so we only have to perhaps add one or two players from the top end from outside.”