Guardiola set to leave Man City in 2023

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is likely to leave the Premier League champions when his contract expires in 2023 as he wants to take a break before venturing into international football, he said on Wednesday.

Guardiola signed a new deal at City in November 2020, and said it will likely be his last before leaving the Premier League side.

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“The next step will be a national team, if there is a possibility,” Guardiola was quoted by Spanish daily Marca.

“After seven years at this club, I think I’m going to have a break. I will need to rest after being somewhere so many years and also stop to evaluate what we’ve done and to try to learn from other coaches.

“If, during this process of stopping, there is a chance to coach a national team then I think I’d like that. I’d like to coach at a European Championship or Copa America or World Cup. I’d like to experience that.”

Former midfielder Guardiola has won three league titles with City and as many with previous clubs Bayern Munich and Barcelona as manager. But the Champions League trophy has eluded him at City after he lifted two at Barca.

Guardiola also won six league titles and the 1992 European Cup with Barcelona as a player, having scored five goals in 47 internationals for Spain.

The Manchester City boss has tracked Tottenham’s Harry Kane all summer, but the striker confirmed on Wednesday he will remain in north London for this season.

“It was incredible to see the reception from the Spurs fans on Sunday and to read some of the messages of support I’ve had in the last few weeks,” Kane posted on social media, ending speculation over his future.

“I will be staying at Tottenham this summer and will be 100 per cent focused on helping the team achieve success.”

City have not dismissed the possibility of signing Cristiano Ronaldo after Kane committed his immediate future to Tottenham, sources have told ESPN. There is still room in Guardiola’s squad for a striker following the departure of Sergio Aguero to Barcelona, and while privately City are playing down the chances of signing Ronaldo, the idea has not been completely ruled out.

Sources have told ESPN that a number of obstacles would have to be overcome, including Juventus’ demand for a transfer fee and Ronaldo’s high wages, which would not fit into the structure at the Etihad Stadium. The 36-year-old has a year left on his contract at Juventus.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.