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Phil Foden opens up on “really sad” eventual departure of Pep Guardiola from Manchester City



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Manchester City playmaker Phil Foden has openly discussed the prospect of legendary manager Pep Guardiola leaving the club in the coming months and years.

The Catalan coach is entering into the final year of his existing Manchester City contract, and is expected to weigh up his options over the course of the next few months over whether to extend his stay at the Etihad Stadium to reach a decade of management at the club.

Pep Guardiola is by far and away Manchester City’s most successful coach, winning the Premier League in six of the last seven seasons, including the last four in a row, whilst also claiming the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.

But the stresses and pressure of maintaining Manchester City’s staggering heights within the game, and the relentless nature of the beast that is top-level football management, is likely to eventually take its toll on the 53-year-old.

Speaking during an exclusive conversation with BBC Sport, Phil Foden has admitted that it would be a “really sad” moment when Pep Guardiola eventually calls time on his career as Manchester City manager.

“It would be really sad,” Foden explained. “I’ve not known any other thing apart from him, so it’ll be strange when he does go. I don’t want to think too much about it. I want to enjoy the things we’re doing now with him.”

Explaining exactly how Guardiola has changed the way Foden plays and has developed in the game, the City academy poster boy continued, “I feel like there’s other managers out there who complicate it a little bit.

“The best advice he gave me this season was just, ‘Don’t try and be Phil Foden in every action’, and I feel like that advice really went a long way. I’ve been here for a long time now working with the manager.”

He continued, “And I think now is the time for me to step up and try and be the man who’s going to score the goals. I knew what I was capable of doing this season, it’s so good to say that I’ve had a good season and I want to continue to play well.”

Rumours have been circulating across the media over the last 24 hours in particular highlighting the expectation within both Manchester City and the wider football industry that the 2024/25 season could be Pep Guardiola’s final in charge at the Etihad Stadium.

Should Manchester City understand that to be the case, officials within the club will likely be preparing their various contingency plans and sounding out potential successors to the legendary coach in the coming months.

Girona’s Michel has admirers throughout Manchester City and the wider City Football Group for his work in La Liga, whilst Xabi Alonso will no doubt be at the centre of a number of top jobs next summer following his outstanding work with Bayer Leverkusen.