Guardiola’s Man City future won’t be influenced by new Klopp deal
Liverpool players celebrate a goal during the UEFA Champions League semi-final, first-leg football match against Villarreal at Anfield Stadium on April 27, 2022. Photo: AFP

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday that Jurgen Klopp’s decision to extend his stay at Liverpool will not have any influence on his own future plans.

Klopp signed a two-year contract extension on Thursday to keep the Reds boss at Anfield until at least 2026.

Guardiola’s current City deal expires at the end of next season and he has yet to commit to prolonging his spell with the Premier League champions.

It remains to be seen whether Guardiola will stick around to maintain his duel with Klopp, with City and Liverpool embroiled in another tense Premier League title race this term.

The Spaniard insisted his only focus at present was City’s crucial trip to Leeds on Saturday as the leaders try to maintain their one-point advantage over second-place Liverpool.

“Congratulations to Jurgen and Liverpool,” Guardiola told reporters.

Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola Photo: AFP

“I think it’s really good for the Premier League. I wish him all the best for the future. My future is Leeds, our future is Leeds, and then the end of the season.”

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager said of his life at City: “I’m enjoying this part of the season — and after, we’ll have time.

“I’m incredibly happy and could not be in a better place to be working.

“I cannot visualise a better place but it’s not just me, it’s many things, other situations. With calmness we are going to take the decision we are going to take.”

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was voted the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year on Friday.

The Egyptian, who has scored 30 goals in all competitions for Klopp’s quadruple-chasing team this season, beat City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne into second place.

Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp AFP

Guardiola offered congratulations to Salah, but laced the compliment with what might be perceived as a back-handed swipe at Klopp.

“Congratulations to Salah. Jurgen said they have the best keeper, the second-best keeper in the world, the best central defender, the best holding midfielder, the best striker. So it’s normal they win all the awards,” he said.

Guardiola added England right back Kyle Walker might not play again in the current campaign.

Walker has missed City’s last four games with an ankle injury suffered against Atletico Madrid.

“I don’t know right now,” Guardiola said of Walker’s prospects of returning to action this season.

“He’s injured, unfortunately for all of us and him especially, but I don’t pay attention. He has to work to come back as soon as possible. I’m focused on the rest of the players.”

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