Pep Guardiola has confirmed he wants Ilkay Gundogan to stay at Manchester City next season, following Sunday’s Premier League win over Everton.
The German international scored a brace for the second week in a row as City beat the Toffees 3-0 at Goodison Park, in addition to the two he netted at home to Leeds United last week. Guardiola spoke of his admiration for the club captain after the win over Leeds and, with Gundogan playing a pivotal role in the latter stages of the title race, the City manager reiterated that stance on Sunday.
“He can show again and again and again the quality and importance and his commitment, to all of us, to the club, not just scoring goals, now he has his momentum,” opined the former Barcelona manager “Against Leeds he was the player and again today. He can do everything and everything well.”
Gundogan’s contribution to the team is particularly relevant at present given he could leave the club for free this summer. Barcelona are hoping to sign the midfielder when his contract expires at the end of season, but Guardiola said on Sunday that he hopes Gundogan signs an extension.
Asked if he wanted the club to do everything to keep the player, Guardiola replied: “Yeah. I talk many things with the club. Nobody knows what is going to happen, maybe he will stay hopefully.
“He doesn’t talk much but when he talks everyone listens and this is the power of the leader,” Guardiola added. “He show his leadership in every training session, arriving on time, living 24 hours your job and play like he is playing.
“He is a player that when he gets close to the box he has an incredible sense of goal, he can play as a holding midfielder no problem, he proved it years ago when Fernandinho was injured - he played in games like Burnley. Long balls, you think you need a physical player but he is so clever and he is a guy who handles the pressure well.”
Sunday’s brace takes Gundogan’s tally up to eight for the season in the Premier League, while Erling Haaland also netted for City at Goodison.