Pep Guardiola has named Ilkay Gundogan as the likeliest member of his current Manchester City squad to follow him into management.
Gundogan was Guardiola's first signing at City, joining in a £20m move from Borussia Dortmund in 2016.
The 31-year-old has gone on to win eight major trophies during his time at the Etihad, scoring 46 goals in 240 games for the Premier League club.
Gundogan has currently working towards his coaching license and has already led sessions for City’s U16 side this season.
The Germany international has now been singled for praise by Guardiola.
When asked which player was most likely to become a manager, Guardiola told Sky Sports News: "Midfield players.
"I think [Ilkay] Gundogan would be [one]. There are many players who after they [retire], they get bored being at home with nothing to do, and after they become a manager.
"But I think midfield players have the chance to be managers - I think that players who think about the game as football as a global [game], not just think ‘me, me, me’.
"When these guys start to understand the game as a group, as a whole, they have the challenge to be a manager."
Guardiola has already seen a number of his former players move into management, including Xavi, Thierry Henry and Vincent Kompany.
The City manager believes Gundogan has everything needed to join that list and become a successful manager.
"We talk about tactics," added Guardiola. "He is so intelligent and that is why he has the passion for it.
"I think the academy players should be grateful to have these kind of coaching sessions with him. I think Ilkay is such an intelligent man.
"And, of course, if you are an intelligent man you are an intelligent player.
"With the quality and the skills that he has, if he decides to become a manager it will be nice to watch him in the future."
Gundogan is not yet ready to hang up his boots and is hopeful of extending his contract with City, which is due to expire in the summer of 2023.
"I’m very happy here: I like life, love the club and feel extremely comfortable," he said earlier this week.
"That’s why I can imagine staying beyond 2023."
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
- Pep Guardiola ‘would have left Man City if Cristiano Ronaldo joined the club’
- Pep Guardiola jokes Ilkay Gundogan won't play again this season after wife complains about food in Manchester
- Pep Guardiola Names Teams Who Don't Just 'Sit Back' Against Manchester City
- Pep Guardiola Names The Two Best Teams In The World, And Doesn't Include Manchester City