Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola (c) Manchester City Facebook

Manchester City prepare contract renewals for seven first-team players

Manchester City are hoping that as many as seven players from the first-team pen fresh deals ahead of the upcoming season.

Manchester City are plotting transfers for both, Harry Kane and Jack Grealish this summer, but that has not deterred the Citizens from looking at the welfare of their current squad members. The Athletic has reported that as many as seven first-team players will be offered contract extensions in the build-up to the 2021/22 campaign.

Among the players who will get the lengthiest of offers is Ederson. The goalkeeper will be presented with a seven-year long deal which will keep him at the club until June 2028. Since arriving at the club in 2017, he has emerged as one of the best shot-stoppers in the world and at just 27 years of age, it is no surprise that City plan to keep him for the longer run.

Ederson has succeeded and been an indispensable presence in Pep Guardiola’s reign as the City boss for three years now, which in itself is a testimony to his quality. The Spanish manager looks for a goalkeeper also to be involved in the build-up play and that is a characteristic that Ederson brings to the table, besides his reflex actions in goal.

Ruben Dias will also be given an increase in his wage after just one year of arrival from Benfica. The Portuguese international has adapted quickly to the Premier League and has arguably been the best central defender in the world for the better part of the last year. His presence in the starting eleven was largely responsible in making Man City defensively solid.

Dias is another long-term buy who has flexed his muscles in next to no time in the world’s most demanding league. The 23-year-old did not have the best of European Championships for Portugal however, but he may be forgiven for a poor international tournament, thanks to the role he played in the knockout phase of the Champions League last season.

John Stones, Dias’ partner in the heart of defence will be offered a fresh contract as well. The Englishman was linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium, but his hard work and determination was enough for Guardiola to give him a second chance in the line-up. It’s fair to say that Stones has not looked back since and has been phenomenal at the back.

Stones played a key role in England’s run to the Euro final and formed a formidable partnership with Harry Maguire as the Three Lions held the best defensive record in the competition. He is only 27 at the moment and is also an English player, which allows Manchester City to fulfil the homegrown quota in their seasonal 25-man roster.

Phil Foden is also among those in queue to be rewarded with an extension. Foden was one of the best Manchester City players in their silverware-laden campaign in 2020/21 and has had his qualities lauded by Pep Guardiola on multiple occasions. He is widely considered as the future of the club and hence, the club will do everything in it can to keep him happy.

Foden’s versatility is another asset for Pep Guardiola. The academy graduate has been used in possibly every attacking position by the ex-Barcelona manager. He has played on either wing, as an attacking midfielder and most recently as a false-nine too. The 21-year-old is a manager’s dream in every aspect and is bound to be one of the world’s very best players.

Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez are the final three players who will be rewarded with new contracts as their respective deals at Manchester City end in June 2023. While Mahrez is certainly deserving of an extended stay at the Etihad Stadium, questions will surely be asked about Jesus and Sterling, who have both not been performing too well.

Jesus is likely to continue being second-fiddle is City end up signing Kane, whereas Sterling has lost his prominence in the squad since the start of this year. The English forward had a European Championship to remember during the summer, but whether that will be convincing enough for Pep Guardiola to play him regularly remains to be seen.

City get their 2021/22 campaign underway on August 7 when they face Leicester City in the FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium. A week later, they visit London once more to take on Tottenham Hotspur away from home in their first Premier League match of the new season. Do you think Guardiola’s men will defend their league crown next season?