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Report: Pep Guardiola Wants 'Sweeping Changes' Before Signing New Man City Deal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 20, 2019

OXFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18:  Manager of Manchester City, Josep Guardiola looks on during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Oxford United and Manchester City at Kassam Stadium on December 18, 2019 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reportedly wants "sweeping changes" at Manchester City if he is to sign a new contract at the Etihad Stadium, with his current deal poised to expire in 2021.

Last season's English treble winners sit third in the Premier League after a difficult start to this season, and assistant manager Mikel Arteta is understood to be on the verge of becoming Arsenal manager.

Sam Lee, David Ornstein and Adam Crafton of The Athletic (h/t MailOnline's Daniel Davis) reported City will promote Rodolfo Borrell to succeed Arteta, though widespread change is expected next summer.

Earlier in December, Guardiola, 48, dismissed reports of a clause in his City contract allowing him to leave the club at the end of this season, saying he intends to at least see out the remainder of his deal, via Reuters:

Reuters @Reuters

Pep Guardiola reiterated his commitment to serving the full term of his contract with Manchester City and denied reports that the contract had a 'break clause' that could allow him to leave at the end of the season https://t.co/vRf5e3oLZQ https://t.co/sImh7Sssj8

The Catalan coach wishes to sign at least one centre-back, a left-back and a forward at the end of this season, according to The Athletic. It's added Leroy Sane could return to action in January or February, though it's believed Bayern Munich will revive their summer interest after he shunned City's offer of a new contract.

Fulfilling Guardiola's transfer wishes next summer is "likely to be vital to his chances" of extending his City contract beyond the summer of 2021, per the report.

Aymeric Laporte is another key star whose injury absence has seriously affected City's season. Midfield anchor Fernandinho has filled in at central defence for much of the Frenchman's time out with a serious knee injury, with Guardiola often preferring the Brazilian to defender Nicolas Otamendi—even when the latter, a natural centre-back, is fit.

The Telegraph's JJ Bull commented on some of City's expensive signings in defence who haven't worked out to be the success they would have wanted:

JJ Bull @jj_bull

@001Haz Mendy=expensive=broken Stones=expensive=hasn't worked out Otamendi=expensive=isn't great Surely you see why losing Laporte has such a huge knock-on effect? There are loads of reasons for it. You know I don't support or work for Man City... right?

City successfully defended the Premier League title for the first time in their history last season, but their chances of retaining their crown this term seem slim after falling 14 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Guardiola left boyhood club Barcelona in 2012 after four years at their helm, meaning there's little reason to suggest the tactician wouldn't depart City after a similar time span should he desire.

Former Manchester City midfielder Michael Brown appeared on BBC 5 Live Sport in mid-December and said Guardiola looked ready to depart the Etihad at the end of this campaign:

BBC 5 Live Sport @5liveSport

Pep Guardiola is heading into his 4th season at #MCI... He spent 4⃣ years at Barcelona and 3⃣ years at Bayern Munich Will he stay at Manchester City for another? Thoughts? 🤔 🎧 Listen the Football Daily 👇 ⚽️📲 https://t.co/jct8YfqXXE #bbcfootball https://t.co/6Tls5ZEsbM

After the 2-1 loss to local rivals Manchester United on December 7, Goal's Alex Shaw noted that Guardiola had recorded his worst start to a season after 16 games, with a low of 32 points.

Arteta's likely departure from the Etihad is a change the coach can't have foreseen, but the planning is already under way to ensure Guardiola extends his City stay.