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Vincent Kompany Urges Manchester City to Retain Pep Guardiola amid Split Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 23, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 01:  Pep Guardiola, manager of Manchester City speaks to Vincent Kompany as Bernando Silva looks on after the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on March 1, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has encouraged the club to do their utmost to keep hold of manager Pep Guardiola amid rumours he could leave the Etihad Stadium this summer.

The Citizens don't look likely to win a third successive Premier League title this season. They are currently third in the table and 11 points behind the Reds, who have one game in hand.

Kompany—who left City this past summer after 11 years at the club—spoke to Sky Sports and attested to his former boss' managerial pedigree despite their title prospects dropping this term:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

Is Pep Guardiola the best manager in the world? 🌍 "If I was in a deciding position at City now, I would do everything I can to keep Pep or as long as I can." Vincent Kompany says #MCFC must keep Pep Guardiola in charge: https://t.co/7LehLLYt0i https://t.co/SI3Y9Dg6dA

The ex-Belgium international said: "If I was in a deciding position at City now, (then) I would do everything I can to keep Pep (Guardiola) for as long as I can. He is truly the best. To say anyone will ever come near, it is speculating in a ludicrous way."

City collected 32 points from their first 16 games of the Premier League campaign, the lowest tally Guardiola has accumulated in that timeframe with any club during his managerial career.

The Catalan coach is contracted at the Etihad until 2021 and recently denied speculation of an alleged break clause allowing him to leave this summer, 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

Kompany, 33, made 360 appearances for City before leaving to take up an initial player-coach role at boyhood club Anderlecht.

Guardiola's campaign suffered another blow after assistant manager Mikel Arteta left to join Arsenal as their new first-team coach Friday.

Arteta joined City's coaching staff following his retirement in 2016, and The Athletic's Sam Lee attested to Guardiola's influence spreading in England's top flight:

Sam Lee @SamLee

2016: Guardiola’s football will never work in England 2019: Guardiola’s *assistant* takes charge of the actual Arsenal

Kompany's absence is one key change at the Etihad this season that's had a detrimental effect, and the struggle to survive Aymeric Laporte's injury troubles has tested Guardiola's abilities.

The Citizens have dropped points in five Premier League games this season and won an unprecedented domestic treble in May, though Guardiola's lack of success in Europe thus far is a point of frustration.

City will face Real Madrid in this season's UEFA Champions League round of 16, with the team having fallen at the quarter-final stage in each of the past two tournaments.