Premier League English

Pep Guardiola admits Etihad chairman is ‘not happy’ with him

Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City chairman, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak is “not happy” with him after failing to successfully defend their Premier League title.

City currently sit 21 points adrift of champions Liverpool, who finally ended their 30-year wait for a domestic league title last month.

Guardiola passionately defended City’s conduct following the overturning of their two-year Champions League ban on Monday, insisting that he would be critical of the club if it was proven to have done wrong.

The Catalan also went on to say that despite his critical outlook being shared internally by all in City, chairman Al-Mubarak had been left unimpressed by the club’s failure to keep pace with Liverpool and win a third successive Premier League crown.

“I’m critical of my club,” Guardiola said. “Internally, when I don’t like something I say to my chairman, (but) my chairman is not happy with me.

“We finished 21 points behind Liverpool. He’s not happy with me, but we discuss internally to try and do better next season, to convince them but always on the pitch.”

Despite their Premier League struggles, City have already won this season’s EFL Cup, will play an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal on Saturday and hold a first-leg lead in their Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid.

Nonetheless, despite finishing second in the league race, City are eager to extend Guardiola’s stay at the Etihad, with his current contract set to expire next summer, but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager is holding back from offering guarantees regarding his future.

Guardiola was open in his declaration of his “love” for the club on Tuesday but said that the time now is inopportune to publicly discuss a potential contract extension, adding that the club will be left in good hands whenever he eventually departs.

“This club is incredibly solid with Pep and without Pep,” he said.

“This club had success before my arrival here, with (Roberto) Mancini and (Manuel) Pellegrini, they won a lot of titles and played really good football.

“So without me, when I leave – and I don’t know when that will be – the structure of the club wants to grow and to be solid.”