Jude Bellingham is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season, with numerous clubs lining up to sign him.

The England international, who has impressed during the World Cup, is contracted with Dortmund until 2025.

It has been speculated that Bellingham will cost English clubs more than £100million to fund the deal.

TOP STORY – CITY TO USE GREALISH IN DEAL FOR BELLINGHAM

Manchester City will dangle Jack Grealish to Borussia Dortmund as part of a deal to land Bellingham, claims Football Insider.

Grealish, who City signed for £100m from Aston Villa 18 months ago, has not fully convinced since his switch to the English champions.

According to the report, City are intensifying their interest in Bellingham and are willing to use Grealish.

Le10Sport have also reported French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in 19-year-old Bellingham.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool are plotting a surprise move for Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, reports Calciomercato. The Serbian striker has scored six Serie A goals this term.

– Mundo Deportivo reports Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Meunier is willing to listen to offers from Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and two other Premier League clubs if Barcelona do not bid for him.

– Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix is open to a Premier League switch amid interest from Chelsea, claims GiveMeSport transfer expert Dean Jones.

– Calciomercato reports that Arsenal are interested in a January move for Real Madrid's Marco Asensio.

Leeds United are interested in a January move for Newcastle forward Chris Wood, claims Football Insider. Wood left Leeds for Burnley in 2017.

John Stones rates Harry Kane as a striker in the class of Erling Haaland as he backed the England captain to break his Qatar World Cup scoring duck.

England have reached the last-16 stage without needing a goal from their skipper, taking seven points from their group games and scoring nine times in the process, with both totals unsurpassed at this tournament.

For Kane not to have netted any of those goals is a surprise, but he has three assists to his name, more than any other player across the group stage, and is contributing in important ways without putting the ball in the net.

Four years ago in Russia, Kane's six goals made him the Golden Boot winner, and he may yet hit a hot streak of form in the coming fortnight.

Whether he does or not, Stones is in no doubt as to the quality of England's number nine.

Asked whether Kane is a player of the same calibre as Haaland, who is a club-mate of Stones at Manchester City, the England defender suggested they were of comparable quality.

"Definitely yeah, it's difficult to obviously say. Erling's so new to our league and Harry has been playing in it all his life pretty much," Stones said.

"Players like those two, their quality always shines through. Maybe they do say 'does he need a rest or not?', [but] we never think like that.

"I think players that usually are scoring like Harry and want to score, you all saw his assist the other day was incredible, but those sort of players are a massive team player as well.

"The things that don't get spoken about, the positioning, the headers from corners that us as defenders appreciate massively, and what he brings to the team as a leader and as a person, as a presence, can outweigh sometimes what happens or the outcome of things."

That reckoning of Kane's diverse qualities is why England's players are not getting at the captain to find his scoring touch, ahead of Sunday's last-16 tussle with Senegal. All in good time, appears to be the message.

 

Haaland and Kane have both been prolific already in the Premier League this season, netting 18 and 12 goals so far for City and Tottenham respectively to sit first and second in the scoring charts.

While Haaland is missing out on the World Cup action because Norway failed to qualify, Kane has the chance to guide England to glory, a year after they finished runners-up at the European Championship.

Again looking at Haaland and Kane, Stones said: "They are both incredible players and incredible within their own rights as well.

"Harry's always been incredible with me, incredible to play with, and I'm sure he will get on the scoresheet soon."

John Stones says he has never seen a young player as talented as Phil Foden, as Gareth Southgate weighs up whether to stick with the Manchester City man for England's World Cup last-16 clash with Senegal.

Foden was left out of England's line-up for their first two games in Qatar – a 6-2 thrashing of Iran and a goalless draw with the United States – but he got on the scoresheet after starting Tuesday's 3-0 win over Wales. 

He led his team-mates for expected goals (1.04 xG), shots in the Wales area (four) and crosses (five) last time out, and Foden's City colleague expects him to continue impressing.

"I've never seen anyone at that age like Phil, with his ability, his football knowledge, and his freedom in how he plays and how he expresses himself," Stones said on Friday.

"The ability he's got is frightening. I'm a huge fan of Phil, I'm lucky to get to play with him pretty much every day.

"I look forward to seeing what he can do and I love playing with him. I'm extremely lucky, City are extremely lucky, England as well, that we've got somebody like that. 

"I want to help him through whatever it might be, and make sure he gets what he needs on and off the pitch that allows him to go and play as he played the other night."

Foden faces stern competition for a place in England's frontline, with each of Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka having scored in Qatar, and Stones does not envy Southgate's dilemma. 

"It's the hardest part of being a manager, choosing that starting eleven and knowing there's eleven happy players and the rest aren't," Stones added.

"We've got an incredible group here, and the boys who don't make the pitch or come on are very selfless and they put their own feelings aside for the group. 

"That's part of our success. I don't envy managers in general when they've got to make those decisions."

While England's tally of nine goals at this World Cup is the most they have scored in the group stages at a major tournament, back-to-back clean sheets also aided their bid to top Group B.

Stones' central defensive partner Harry Maguire has been heavily criticised after slipping down the pecking order at Manchester United, and the City man believes his response has been exemplary.

"Right from the first game, he's given the best response with what he's been doing. In all three games, he's been terrific," Stones said of Maguire. 

"Knowing what he's been going through and knowing the person he is, it speaks volumes about him to come through that and still believe in himself, like I believed in him and all his team-mates did.

"I think there was a lot of noise from outside which he's not listened to, and he's tried to improve and better himself, and he's come into this tournament and hit the ground running. That's great credit to him."

Aymeric Laporte headed into Spain's Group E finale having not missed a beat at the heart of Luis Enrique's defence – but his overall World Cup focus has been sketchy at best and that is by his own admission.

The Manchester City defender, who has been joined by club-mate Rodri at the heart of the Spanish backline, has indicated he is not paying attention to the tournament far beyond caring about La Roja's next game.

Former Athletic Bilbao star Laporte said he had not "even looked" at who might await Spain in the last-16 stage and had "no idea" of the possibilities of who that might be.

It is perhaps an unusual attitude for a professional footballer, but Laporte appears to fall into the category of sportsmen who are stunningly proficient in what they do, but not naturally inclined to take their work home with them.

He told the Guardian: "I'm not a football addict. Honestly, I don't like watching matches."

The 28-year-old accepts he is not the sharpest at keeping tabs on his team's workload, even at City.

"Honestly, when I play for City, I don't even know what time kick-off is," he said. "My family call and say: hey, what time tomorrow? [I say] 'I don't know.'"

However, Laporte has done little wrong on the pitch in Spain's opening games, a 7-0 win over Costa Rica and a 1-1 draw with Germany.

Heading into Thursday's run of games, of all defenders to have played at least 90 minutes in this World Cup, Laporte had averaged the most passes per 90 minutes (125.5 – 11.31 more than anyone else) and the most passes in his own half (89 – 18 more than the next player on the list).

He had had the third-most touches per 90 minutes (132.5) among defenders, with only team-mate Jordi Alba (136.23) and Germany's Nico Schlotterbeck (132.58) having more.

It helps that Spain play in a similar vein to City, with their possession-based game one that suits Laporte, and it can only help to have Rodri with him, even if for their club the former Atletico Madrid man is typically deployed in midfield.

Laporte had no doubt Rodri would be an ideal fit for defensive duties, and he is coaching his friend through games.

They had another job to do against Japan on Thursday, with Spain knowing a draw would be enough to secure progress.

"Rodri's intelligent, he knows how to adapt," Laporte said. "It's different for him. He seeks advice, asks a lot of questions; it's all very natural.

"We've only let in one and we hope there aren't any more. Basically, I answer the questions he asks. Do I step out? When do we drop? Do I have to go with the striker when he runs into the space? Do I hold? Do I follow? Do I step out with the ball?

"He asks lots of questions: being firm, decision-making, with the ball, without it. And I try to help as best I can."

Lionel Messi is destined to return to Barcelona one day as the player and club "deserve one last dance together", according to the Catalan giants' sporting director Jordi Cruyff.

Paris Saint-Germain star Messi's 21-year association with Barca came to an end in August 2021 as the club could not afford a new deal under LaLiga's financial fair play rules.

Messi is now into his second season with PSG, but he is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner turns 36 next year and Cruyff hopes to see him back at Camp Nou in the future, though accepts that it may not be in a playing capacity.

"It's clear Barcelona and Messi have to be together again one day," Cruyff told RAC1. "It may be after his career, but they deserve a final hug, one last dance together."

Messi scored 672 goals across 778 appearances for Barcelona and provided a further 265 assists, amounting to 937 goal involvements across that trophy-laden spell.

 

He featured more times (219) and scored more goals (211) under Pep Guardiola than any other head coach, with the Catalan winning 14 trophies in four seasons at the helm.

Guardiola has since spent three seasons with Bayern Munich and is into his seventh season with Manchester City, where he remains under contract until July 2025.

Speaking this week, Guardiola said he would return to Barcelona one day if the club needed him, adding that "nothing is comparable" to managing a club so close to your heart.

Asked about the possibility of Guardiola managing the Blaugrana again further down the line, Cruyff said: "He's reached the level of being able to choose his own destiny.

"Not many have reached that point; it's the dream of every professional. Whether he returns or not, I have no idea. I think he's happy at City."

Arsenal have confirmed a new date for their Premier League game with Manchester City, with the pair now set to face off on February 15.

The two teams had been set to meet on October 19, in a crucial bout with both teams in the midst of an early campaign title battle.

But the game was forced off the schedule in order to make way for the Gunners' Europa League match with PSV Eindhoven, with the latter match having been postponed in the wake of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Now the club has confirmed a new date, with Mikel Arteta's side hoping they remain at the top of the pile heading into their encounter.

"Our home Premier League clash with Manchester City has been rearranged for Wednesday, February 15," read a club statement.

"The game was previously arranged for October 19 but was postponed to allow us to fulfil our Europa League commitments."

Arsenal and City's title fight this year has painted an intriguing portrait for the two clubs, particularly with Arteta – assistant to Pep Guardiola before his return to north London –having raided his old team for new recruits.

In Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, the Gunners have acquired two players who have been among their key performers this term, helping them to mount challenges both at home and abroad in Europe.

Manchester City will face Chelsea in the pick of the FA Cup third-round ties, while Manchester United meet fellow Premier League side Everton.

Pep Guardiola's top-flight champions visit Graham Potter's side in the league on January 5, just a matter of days before hosting the Blues at Etihad Stadium in the prestigious cup competition.

Everton will be another side travelling to Manchester as Frank Lampard's side face Erik ten Hag's United, with current holders Liverpool drawn at home to Wolves in another all-Premier League tie.

Arsenal make the trip to League One's Oxford United, while the in-form Newcastle United visit another third-tier side in Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Tottenham will also face League One opposition when they host Portsmouth, with Brighton and Hove Albion going up to Middlesbrough and Bournemouth facing a home tie against Championship leaders Burnley.

Two more all-Premier League clashes see Brentford at home to London rivals West Ham and new Southampton manager Nathan Jones will have to get past an away game against top-flight rivals Crystal Palace.

Aston Villa will welcome Stevenage, who are second in League Two chasing promotion, with Fulham and Leeds United visiting Championship sides Hull City and Cardiff City respectively.

Dagenham and Redbridge will invite Leicester City to Victoria Road if the National League side can defeat Gillingham in a December 6 replay.

All ties are scheduled to be played between January 6 and January 9.

FA Cup third-round draw in full:

Preston v Huddersfield Town
Middlesbrough v Brighton and Hove Albion
Chesterfield v West Brom
Manchester City v Chelsea
Charlton or Stockport County v Walsall
Boreham Wood v Accrington Stanley
Tottenham v Portsmouth
Derby County v Barnsley
Cardiff City v Leeds United
Brentford v West Ham
Bournemouth v Burnley
Coventry City v Wrexham
Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers
Aston Villa v Stevenage
Luton Town v Wigan Athletic
Oxford United v Arsenal
Fleetwood Town v Queens Park Rangers
Liverpool v Wolves
Grimsby Town v Burton Albion
Blackpool v Nottingham Forest
Dagenham and Redbridge or Gillingham v Leicester City
Forest Green Rovers v Birmingham City
Bristol City v Swansea City
Hartlepool United v Stoke City
Hull City v Fulham
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Millwall v Sheffield United
Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland
Sheffield Wednesday v Newcastle United
Manchester United v Everton
Reading v Watford
Ipswich Town v Rotherham United

Kevin De Bruyne is delighted with Pep Guardiola's new Manchester City contract, but is frustrated Belgium cannot replicate the Premier League champions.

The playmaker has been a crucial figure for Guardiola during his time at the Etihad Stadium, with the pair establishing a bond that has led them to silverware across multiple competitions.

Yet despite his successes there, De Bruyne has sometimes found it difficult to dictate matches under national team boss Roberto Martinez the way he does for City.

With the recent news that Guardiola has signed a two-year extension, De Bruyne professed his happiness but stressed he cannot expect his country to perform like his club.

"It makes my life a lot easier," he stated. "The way he leads the team is very clear and I feel very comfortable with him. Both our contracts run to 2025, so that makes it easier. I could not be happier."

"[But Belgium] can't play in the same way as Manchester City. As a national team, you have to adapt to the players you have around you.

"Does it frustrate me sometimes? Yes, but I should show that less, although that is the perfection I strive for."

De Bruyne was named player of the match as Belgium began their World Cup campaign with an unconvincing 1-0 win over Canada in Group F on Wednesday.

The midfielder cut a frustrated figure throughout and did not partake in celebrations for Michy Batshuayi's eventual winner, though he is aware he needs to keep his visible annoyance on a leash.

"I do know that my reactions are not always good," he added. "I look for moments afterwards, to find that peace, but people know that it's my way to help the team play better and get more out of the game.

"But of course, I also have to learn to react in a better way. Every now and then the emotions spill over, but that's also part of the game."

Belgium next play Morocco on Sunday, before their final Group F match with Croatia next Thursday.

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."

Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City in July 2016 with the aim of "winning games to make the fans happy and proud".

Six and a half years on from his appointment, it is fair to say the Catalan has achieved what he set out to do in that regard.

While a lack of Champions League success continues to blight his CV, Guardiola has otherwise conquered English football.

With four Premier League titles, four EFL Cups and one FA Cup, Guardiola has won at least five major trophies more than any other City manager.

After signing a new deal on Wednesday that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2024-25 campaign, Stats Perform looks at the numbers behind Pep's reign.

DOMESTIC DOMINANCE

Guardiola has managed 374 matches as City manager, winning 271 of those, drawing 49 and losing 54 for a win rate of 72.5 per cent.

Most of those games (242) have come in the Premier League, followed by the Champions League (70, inc. qualifying), FA Cup (30), EFL Cup (28) and Community Shield (4).

The 605 Premier League goals scored by City under Guardiola averages out at 2.5 per game, with less than one a game conceded over the same period.

It is in the EFL Cup that Guardiola boasts his highest win percentage (75 per cent), having won 21 of the 28 matches he has managed in that competition, losing just twice.

 

PEP OUTDOING FERGIE

Unsurprisingly given City have won the title in four of his six seasons, no manager – not even Manchester United great Alex Ferguson – can better Guardiola's win rate.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has won 74 per cent of his games in the competition, with Ferguson, who managed 810 matches, next best on 65.2 per cent.

Among those to have taken charge of at least 20 games, Antonio Conte (65.7 per cent), Jurgen Klopp (63.2) and ex-City boss Roberto Mancini (61.7) make up the top five.

With four English top-flight titles, Guardiola needs one more to overtake Kenny Dalglish, though he has a long way to go to catch up with Ferguson, who won 13-such crowns.


PREM'S TOP DOGS

Guardiola is one of 119 managers to have taken charge of at least 50 Premier League matches, and he leads the way in a number of the top metrics.

He boasts the most points per game on average (2.4), the highest win percentage (74), most goals per game (2.5) and the fewest goals conceded (0.8).

That is reflected in an accumulated Premier League table across his six and a half seasons at the helm, which has City on 568 points – 38 more than next-best Liverpool.

Chelsea and their various managers have accrued the next highest number of points since the start of the 2016-17 season with 463, followed by Tottenham on 455.


CHAMPIONS LEAGUE NEXT?

For all of Guardiola's undoubted success on the domestic stage, though, he has been unable to add to the two Champions League trophies lifted while managing Barcelona.

Guardiola has won 44 of his 68 games in the competition for a win rate of 65 per cent, a return only Hansi Flick can better (89 per cent) from his short spell at Bayern.

However, his side have repeatedly fallen short on the continent, with their run to the final in the 2020-21 season – when defeated by Chelsea – the best they have managed.

"I still have the feeling there is more we can achieve together and that is why I want to stay and continue fighting for trophies," Guardiola said upon signing his new contract.

On course for yet another Premier League triumph, albeit with a five-point gap to make up on Arsenal, conquering Europe again is now the undoubted main aim for Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola's new contract with Manchester City will see him remain at the Etihad Stadium until 2025, when he will mark nine years at the club.

The Catalan coach has already remained in the Premier League for longer than he has at his previous roles with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, finding a home within English football and establishing a dominant force with his City side.

Throughout his six and a half years in charge so far, Guardiola has been in charge of numerous superstars and club legends, with an all-time squad that would be of envy for any manager in world football.

But how exactly do you break that down into a full XI? Stats Perform has taken on the task and done exactly that.

Ederson

Guardiola made a bold choice upon his arrival in Manchester, swiftly making it clear England international Joe Hart, a two-time Premier League winner, would not fit into his plans moving forward. After a disappointing season with Claudio Bravo, Ederson arrived in 2017 and has been number one ever since.

All of Ederson's 260 appearances across all competitions have come as a starter, higher than any other player under Guardiola, while he sits fifth in the list for total appearances under the Catalan boss.

Kyle Walker

Signed from Tottenham Hotspur in 2017, Kyle Walker has been a mainstay in the City side that has dominated domestic football over the course of the past five years, ranking fifth for the most starts under Guardiola in all competitions (207).

Walker's versatility has been a key benefit for Guardiola and England, with his attacking play also fitting into City's style of play well. Since arriving at City, Walker has contributed 17 assists across all competitions, behind only Joao Cancelo (20) among defenders.

Aymeric Laporte

Among defenders during Guardiola's spell in charge, only John Stones and Walker have started more games than Laporte (155), with both players having joined the club in the seasons before Laporte's arrival from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018.

A total of 163 appearances across all competitions puts him narrowly ahead of Nicolas Otamendi (161) for most games under Guardiola.

John Stones

Snapped up in 2016 as one of Guardiola's first signings, Stones has had to contend with incredible competition for his spot at the heart of the defence, with the likes of Laporte, Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake all drafted in.

Despite that, Stones continues to be an important player for City and has made 175 starts under Guardiola and 206 appearances overall, ranking second in both among defenders behind only Walker.

Joao Cancelo

The versatile Portuguese full-back moved to City in 2019 from Juventus and has excelled for City, tallying 149 total appearances and 135 starts in all competitions since joining the club, and provides a huge boost in the attacking third.

A total of 20 assists puts him above any defender during Guardiola's spell in charge, even those who have been at the club far longer.

Kevin de Bruyne

Few players fit the Guardiola philosophy more than De Bruyne, who has hit new heights under the former Barcelona boss to stand among the finest players in world football – with a record in front of goal that many would envy.

De Bruyne has registered 117 assists under Guardiola, way ahead of second-place Raheem Sterling (66), while he has scored 73 goals – only behind Gabriel Jesus, Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

Ilkay Gundogan

With 205 starts under Guardiola, the midfielder has been an integral part of the City side since following the Catalan from Germany to Manchester, ranking only behind Walker, David Silva, Sterling, De Bruyne and Ederson in that regard.

Only six players have scored more goals under Guardiola than Gundogan (51), who ranks ninth for the most assists (33).

Fernandinho

The rock of City's midfield for years, Fernandinho started 200 games under Guardiola and made a total of 244 appearances, the latter seeing him rank behind only Ederson, Bernardo Silva, Gundogan, De Bruyne and Sterling.

A total of 12 goals and 16 assists in those matches represents a decent return for a player renowned more for his defensive strength.

Bernardo Silva

Slotting into the attack ahead of Phil Foden and David Silva, both of whom have a stellar record under Guardiola, Bernardo Silva narrowly gets the nod due to his own impressive numbers in the final third.

Silva has 104 direct goal contributions (50 goals, 54 assists) in 273 appearances, starting in 208 of those matches. Only Sterling and De Bruyne have more assists under Guardiola, while Silva is one of eight players to hit the half-century mark for goals.

Sergio Aguero

In the future, Aguero's spot in the team is likely to be under significant threat from Erling Haaland following his blistering start to life at City, but the Argentine superstar retains the edge for the time being.

Aguero scored 124 goals under Guardiola, more than any other player, with Sterling the only other to have broken the century mark. Those goals came in just 183 appearances with Guardiola in charge, displaying his deadly ability in front of the net.

Raheem Sterling

An unsung hero of the Guardiola era, Sterling played 292 times under the Catalan boss, more than anyone else, while only Aguero scored more goals than Sterling (120).

Sterling also contributed 66 assists under Guardiola, sitting behind only De Bruyne, and is the only player to have scored over 100 goals and added over 50 assists under the Catalan boss.

Pep Guardiola's wildly successful reign as Manchester City manager is set to continue until 2025 after he agreed a two-year contract extension at the Etihad Stadium.

Since swapping Bayern Munich for the Premier League in 2016, Guardiola has enjoyed incredible success, winning four league titles, as many EFL Cups and the FA Cup.

However, not everything has gone to plan for Guardiola in the past six years, and his desire to end a long wait for continental glory was likely a key factor in his decision to stay with the club.

Guardiola has undoubtedly enjoyed more highs than lows during his time with City, but there have been a few bumps in the road along the way.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look back at Guardiola's major triumphs with the Citizens, as well as some of his rare failures.

Low: An underwhelming start, 2016-17 

When Guardiola agreed to take the reigns at City in 2016, hopes were high that he would make an immediate impact – his three years at Bayern had seen him deliver three Bundesliga titles, posting two of the club's three highest points tallies in their history (90 in 2013-14, 88 in 2015-16). 

However, Guardiola's focus on instilling his possession-based style attracted criticism from some, particularly when he opted to replace two-time Premier League winner Joe Hart with the more cultured if erratic Claudio Bravo.

City racked up 78 points as they finished third in 2016-17, an improvement of one place and 12 points on Manuel Pellegrini's final campaign in charge, but more was expected from the former Barcelona coach.

In a sign of things to come, City saved their most disappointing display for the Champions League, exiting on away goals after a wild 6-6 aggregate draw with Monaco in the last 16.

High: City's centurions, 2017-18 

If Guardiola's first season with City was largely forgettable, his second campaign at the helm was memorable for all the right reasons.

Most points (100), most away points (50), most wins (32), most consecutive victories (18) and best goal difference (+76) were among the Premier League records City claimed during an incredible season.

Buoyed by the signings of future stalwarts Kyle Walker, Ederson, Bernardo Silva and Aymeric Laporte, City ultimately finished some 19 points clear of Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.

Guardiola did not even have to wait until May to get his hands on silverware, leading City to an EFL Cup final thrashing of Arsenal in February 2018.

Low: Champions League final heartache, 2021

The main criticism levelled at Guardiola throughout recent years has been his failure to win the Champions League since leaving Camp Nou in 2012.

City's nearest miss to date came in Porto in May 2021, as Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea produced a defensive masterclass to frustrate the Premier League champions en route to a 1-0 win. 

Kai Havertz's goal handed the Blues their second European crown at the Estadio do Dragao, but one of the defining images was that of Kevin De Bruyne leaving the field in tears following a heavy collision with Antonio Rudiger.

The defeat was Guardiola's first in a final with City, and just the second major final loss of his entire coaching career – after a 2011 Copa del Rey reverse to Real Madrid.

High: Domestic cup dominance, 2018-2022

While Guardiola's success is best measured in league titles, City have made several superb memories by dominating the cup competitions under his management.

Under Guardiola, City have captured the FA Cup once and the EFL Cup four times – for context, the club had only won the latter competition three times in their history before his arrival.

Guardiola's lone FA Cup triumph – sealed with a 6-0 final win over Watford in 2019 – made City the first English team to lift both domestic cups and the top-flight title in the same season.

Their rout of the Hornets also represented the biggest margin of victory in an FA Cup final since Bury beat Derby County 6-0 in 1903.

Low: Collapse at the Bernabeu, 2022

The final defeat in 2021 may be the closest Guardiola's City have come to European glory, but last season's collapse against Real Madrid was undoubtedly their most painful failure in the competition.

Holding a 5-3 aggregate lead over Madrid as the second leg entered stoppage time at the Santiago Bernabeu in May, it seemed impossible for City to fall short of a place in the final.

However, Rodrygo's incredible last-gasp brace was followed by an extra-time penalty from Karim Benzema, teeing Madrid up to claim their 14th European crown later that month.

The result handed Guardiola his sixth semi-final elimination from the Champions League – the joint-most of any coach, alongside Jose Mourinho.

High: Edging out Klopp's Reds, 2018-19 and 2021-22

All great teams need a great rival, and in Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, Guardiola's City have certainly had one.

Since the start of the 2016-17 campaign, City have amassed an incredible tally of 568 Premier League points, putting them 38 clear of Liverpool's own impressive total.

The closest title battles between the duo came in the 2018-19 and 2021-22 seasons, with City edging out the Reds by just a single point on the final day of both campaigns.

Two of Guardiola's four league titles have thus come at the end of close-run races with Liverpool, helping him become the most decorated manager in City's history with nine major trophies.

Pep Guardiola has signed a new two-year contract to extend his tenure as Manchester City manager until 2025.

Guardiola has enjoyed a hugely successful spell since taking over at the Etihad Stadium in 2016, winning four Premier League titles, as many EFL Cups, and the FA Cup once.

His City side have also come agonisingly close to winning the Champions League, reaching at least the quarter-final stage in each of the last five seasons and losing 1-0 to Chelsea in the 2020-21 final.

City supporters will hope the signing of striker Erling Haaland will be the final piece to the puzzle as Guardiola seeks to win Europe's elite club competition with City for the first time, having achieved it twice as Barcelona head coach.

With Guardiola's contract having previously been set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 campaign, there had been talk the 51-year-old may opt to leave, either in search of a new challenge or to go on a sabbatical period similar to the one he took after departing Barcelona.

But the Spaniard has decided to remain as City's boss and he spoke of his delight after putting pen to paper.

"I am so pleased to be staying at Manchester City for another two years," Guardiola told the club's website.

"I can't say thank you enough to everyone at the club for trusting me. I am happy and comfortable here. I have everything I need to do my job as best as possible.

"I know the next chapter of this club will be amazing for the next decade. It happened over the last 10 years, and it will happen in the next 10 years because this club is so stable.

"From day one I felt something special being here. I cannot be in a better place.

"I still have the feeling there is more we can achieve together and that is why I want to stay and continue fighting for trophies."

 

Pep Guardiola has signed a new two-year contract to extend his tenure as Manchester City manager until 2025.

Guardiola has enjoyed a hugely successful spell since taking over at the Etihad Stadium in 2016, winning four Premier League titles, as many EFL Cups, and the FA Cup once.

His City side have also come agonisingly close to winning the Champions League, reaching at least the quarter-final stage in each of the last five seasons and losing 1-0 to Chelsea in the 2020-21 final.

City supporters will hope the signing of striker Erling Haaland will be the final piece to the puzzle as Guardiola seeks to win Europe's elite club competition with City for the first time, having achieved it twice as Barcelona head coach.

With Guardiola's contract having previously been set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 campaign, there had been talk the 51-year-old may opt to leave, either in search of a new challenge or to go on a sabbatical period similar to the one he took after departing Barcelona.

But the Spaniard has decided to remain as City's boss and he spoke of his delight after putting pen to paper.

"I am so pleased to be staying at Manchester City for another two years," Guardiola told the club's website.

"I can't say thank you enough to everyone at the club for trusting me. I am happy and comfortable here. I have everything I need to do my job as best as possible.

"I know the next chapter of this club will be amazing for the next decade. It happened over the last 10 years, and it will happen in the next 10 years because this club is so stable.

"From day one I felt something special being here. I cannot be in a better place.

"I still have the feeling there is more we can achieve together and that is why I want to stay and continue fighting for trophies."

 

Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany joked he would not sign Cristiano Ronaldo as Burnley "need players who can run".

Ronaldo is preparing for the World Cup with Portugal ahead of Thursday's Group H opener against Ghana, though the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will lreturn to club football as a free agent in January.

Manchester United and Ronaldo parted ways by mutual agreement on Tuesday after the forward's exclusive interview with Piers Morgan caused a global stir.

The Portugal captain said he felt "betrayed" by United and had no respect for manager Erik ten Hag before the fractured relationship at Old Trafford came to an abrupt end.

Kompany, now manager of Championship side Burnley, offered a tongue-in-cheek assessment of the situation, suggesting the Clarets would not be interested in signing the 37-year-old.

Asked on the BBC's World Cup coverage whether he would want Ronaldo at Turf Moor, Kompany joked: "We need players who can run."

After discussing Ronaldo's future in a jovial manner, Kompany claimed "everybody loses" after an uncomfortable situation at Old Trafford, barring Ten Hag.

"I think in the end everybody loses except perhaps the Man United manager," added Kompany, who lifted four Premier League titles with fierce rivals City.

"I think it is a problem that has been resolved and they will move on from this."

Fellow pundit and former England striker Alan Shearer believes it will be interesting to see what move Ronaldo takes next, with Chelsea reportedly among the favourites.

"It is a sad end to his Man United career," Shearer said. "He's got his wish, it is what he did the interview for. It was inevitable it was going to happen after that.

"I think it is going to be really interesting to see if a Champions League club comes in for him. Maybe Man United aren't that disappointed either, that was never going to be a match, Ten Hag and him."

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