Guardiola wants ‘exceptional’ Phil Foden to stay at City for years

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hailed Phil Foden as “exceptional” and said the club would like him to spend years with the England international who is reportedly close to signing a new contract with the Premier League champions.

The 22-year-old, who scored his first hat-trick for City on Sunday in the 6-3 demolition of neighbors Manchester United, has emerged as a key midfield player over the past two campaigns.

“Exceptional player, grown up a lot. He is reliable, his physical condition, so intense and smart in everything,” Guardiola said on Tuesday of the youngster whose current contract expires in 2024.

“The impact when I arrived was wow. The second time he started playing important games he didn’t feel any pressure. Like Bernardo (Silva). He behaves better,” said Guardiola, adding that Foden’s versatility means he can play in as many games as possible. as five positions.

City can get one step closer to qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League with a win over Danish FC Copenhagen on Wednesday after victories in their first two Group G matches.

Guardiola will not take his opponents lightly despite Copenhagen, the Danish champions, who languished in sixth place in the league, a rocky start that forced them to replace manager Jess Thorup with Jacob Neestrup last month.

“I always see the best of the opponents. Against Dortmund and Sevilla, so aggressive. Every move, the wingers and attacking midfielder know what to do. How aggressive with the full back support,” said the Spaniard.

“I don’t look at the table or the position, I look at who they are as a team. My staff helps me a lot to discover. In the Champions League I have too much respect.”

City lead the group with six points, while Copenhagen is third with one from two matches.

Midfielder Rodri, who missed Sunday’s game due to injury, could be in the race, but right-back Kyle Walker will not be there after the Englishman was forced out against United in the first half.

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