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Guardiola wants City extension over Barca return

Pep Guardiola has said he wants to extend his stay at Manchester City rather than return to Barcelona.

Guardiola will be out of contract at the Etihad Stadium next summer and Barcelona’s presidential frontrunner Victor Font has already declared his intention to bring the 49-year-old back to Camp Nou.

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Outgoing president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned this week ahead of an expected vote of no confidence next month but Guardiola said he is happy in Manchester.

“I’m incredibly happy here,” Guardiola, who enjoyed a trophy-laden spell in charge of Barcelona between 2008 and 2012, said. “I’m delighted to be happy here and hopefully I can do a good job here this season to stay longer.”

City have endured an inconsistent start to the season and will hope to bounce back from the draw at West Ham when they travel to Sheffield United on Saturday.

Guardiola’s injury list is clearing with Gabriel Jesus and Nathan Ake nearing a return. However, the Spaniard is still calling on the Premier League to reintroduce the five substitutions rule to protect the players during a hectic campaign.

“Definitely they should, they should 100%,” he said. “It’s not about one club.

“There are statistics that they don’t deny — that in the Premier League players have 47% more muscular injuries than the previous season.

“Due to no preparation for most of the teams and the amount of games. All the leagues — Germany, Spain, everywhere — is five substitutions to protect the players, not to protect one team.

“Hopefully they can reconsider and do what the rest of the world does because we have to adjust to the pandemic situation and other things.

“The reality is completely different now to before. Intelligent people adjust to the situation in the world — football is about the players.”

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