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Two players make huge impact on Pep Guardiola's final Manchester City contract decision

Freddie Pye

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Two players make huge impact on Pep Guardiola's final Manchester City contract decision

One particular Manchester City first-team duo have been credited as playing an influential role in Pep Guardiola's decision to prolong his stay at the club beyond the end of this season, a new report has suggested.

It was confirmed on Wednesday morning that the Catalan tactician had put pen to paper on a new two-year contract with the Premier League champions.

By the time this new deal comes to it's natural expiry date in the summer of 2025, Pep Guardiola will have been Manchester City manager for a total of nine years.

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That will be longer than any other spell at his previous two senior clubs, following spells at FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

While many factors will have almost certainly played their part, a new report has revealed that members within the first-team squad have also contributed to a positive outcome in what was becoming somewhat of a saga.

According to the information of the Athletic in light of the news, the impact and arrivals of two Manchester City players have played a significant part in Pep Guardiola realising that his longer-term future is best-suited at the Etihad Stadium.

Regarding one name in particular, Pol Ballus and Sam Lee write this week that the way Erling Haaland has hit the ground running, and adapted to Manchester City’s style of play, is regarded by those within the club as a 'decisive factor' in Guardiola’s decision to extend his contract.

Haaland could have a choice to make. Image: Alamy
Haaland could have a choice to make. Image: Alamy

Additionally, it is suggested that the signing of Manuel Akanji towards the end of the most recent summer transfer window 'dispelled any concerns' and 'provided extra assurances' to Pep Guardiola, proving to him that 'he was in the right place' and that City were 'never going to doubt his instincts'.

On the subject of the latter point, it is detailed that Pep Guardiola made his concerns surrounding defensive personnel depth very clear in the closing days of August, 2022.

 Manuel Akanji heads clear of Jamie Vardy (Image: Action Plus Sports Images/Alamy)
Manuel Akanji heads clear of Jamie Vardy (Image: Action Plus Sports Images/Alamy)

In turn, it is revealed that Manchester City chairman, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak had also been made aware of such concerns, and the club as a whole ultimately agreed to consider a new arrival in the position with just days remaining in the summer window.

As such, City turned to Borussia Dortmund for the second time in the same market, with Manuel Akanji deemed as a 'sensible option', according to the Athletic.

Manchester City return to action following the FIFA World Cup on December 22.

Pep Guardiola and his players will play host to Liverpool in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, following their victory over Chelsea in the previous stage of the season's first cup competition in England.

A general view of the Carabao Cup trophy. (Alamy)
A general view of the Carabao Cup trophy. (Alamy)

At this stage, it remains uncertain what depth of squad Guardiola will have at his disposal, however Riyad Mahrez and Erling Haaland are two senior players that will be at full fitness through their absence at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy

Topics: Erling Haaland, Manchester City, Manchester City Transfer News & Rumours, Premier League, Football, Pep Guardiola

Freddie Pye
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