Pep Guardiola has no doubt late mentor Johan Cruyff would have backed his decision to remain with Manchester City after penning a new two-year contract.

The Catalan coach has agreed fresh terms with the Premier League champions to take him through to 2025, stretching his tenure in charge to what will be a nine-year stay.

Under his watch, City have entrenched themselves as the dominant force in English football, with four top-flight titles, though their dream of winning the Champions League remains elusive.

Reflecting on his decision, Guardiola suggested both director of football Txiki Begiristain and himself would have received blessing from the late Dutchman, who managed them during their playing days at Barcelona.

"I think he would say extend two more years the contract!" he told City's website. "I am pretty sure Johan Cruyff would say that.

"From above he is happy right now. Always, I have the feeling of how sad about the fact he cannot be here to enjoy it with all of us. We are his sons, Txiki and myself.

"We talk about how nice it would be if he was here, but something he taught us or drove us with always is there."

Guardiola also took time to praise his backroom staff at City, who have helped him achieve nine major honours as manager.

"First of all, the quality that they have as human beings, first and foremost otherwise they would not be here," he said.

"But you have to cultivate, you have to grow, we have to still do what we have to do to continue to be better. Also, for the backroom staff, the message I’ve done is the same.

"It's not that what we have done is enough. They have to improve themselves, show they want to be here, that they want to help us [and] the club improve altogether. They know I'm just a part of that."

Xavi acknowledged a Barcelona return for Lionel Messi is "impossible" at present but refused to rule out a reunion in future, as he rejected comparisons between himself and two legendary Blaugrana coaches.

Messi's 21-year association with Barcelona came to an end last August when he joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer amid the Catalan club's financial woes.

However, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's six league goals during his debut campaign in Paris represented his worst such tally since he netted the same amount in LaLiga as an 18-year-old in 2005-06.

Messi has just one year remaining on his contract in the French capital – though an option exists for a further 12 months with PSG – and Barcelona president Joan Laporta said on Sunday he did not believe the Argentine's Barca story was over.

His former team-mate and current Barcelona coach Xavi, however, told a news conference such a move was unfeasible, at least for now. 

"He has a contract and it's impossible right now," Xavi said, looking ahead to Barca's friendly with Juventus in Dallas on Tuesday.

"Messi is the best footballer in the world and in history. President Laporta already said that Messi's story with Barca is not over, but now is not the time to talk about it."

 

On a personal level, Xavi has enjoyed success since returning to Barcelona as head coach last November, leading the side to a second-placed league finish after they had languished in ninth under predecessor Ronald Koeman.

Barca are now expected to challenge for silverware after acquiring the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, but Xavi insists he does not seek comparisons with legendary Blaugrana bosses Pep Guardiola and Johan Cruyff. 

"I don't have the idea of equalling Pep, what I want is for Barca to win," he added.

"It's not a question of ego, I don't want to beat Pep or Johan or anyone. On the contrary, I have nurtured myself from them, I am a student of theirs. 

"My dream is to return Barca to the top of the world."

Despite their perilous financial situation, Barcelona have recruited heavily throughout the transfer window, and with Sevilla and France defender Jules Kounde reportedly also close to joining, their spending does not look likely to stop any time soon.

And Xavi believes the capture of Lewandowski demonstrates the lure of the Catalan giants, adding: "It's not for me, it's for the club. What I do is speak clearly with the players. 

"Everything adds up, but I would say that the club is the one that has strength, its greatness is a magnet for footballers. 

"People are excited to play at Barca, the fact that players of the stature of Lewandowski want to come proves it."

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