Manchester City round-up: Sterling set for contract talks; Guardiola urges improvement; Shakhtar 'deserve credit'
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is allegedly set to show England international Raheem Sterling just how critical a player he has become at Etihad by awarding him a contract extension.
The Daily Star believe that, despite still having three years left on his current deal, Guardiola is looking to tie down his long-term future to the Blues and let Sterling know how important he is.
The City winger had been subject to reported interest from Arsenal during the summer but, as reported by The Sun, the Spaniard has told City’s Premier League rivals to forget about signing him.
He said: “Raz is staying here.
“The club trust him and that is why we have invested a lot of money in him.”
Sterling has put in a string of impressive displays already this campaign, finding the net five times in five matches, and he scored twice in the 5-0 demolition of strugglers Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
Yet the Manchester City boss has warned his side against becoming complacent after their fourth successive victory by four or more goals, claiming that there’s still room for improvement in the side.
In the past fortnight the Blues have beaten Liverpool, Feyenoord, Watford, West Brom and Crystal Palace with consummate ease, scoring 22 goals in the five games and conceding just the single goal.
But Guardiola, speaking ahead of a week that sees them play both Shakhtar Donetsk and Chelsea, has insisted that his side can continue to build and go from strength to strength as the season continues.
In an interview with Sky Sports, he said: “People expected before we arrived [on Saturday] it would be easy, but you know how complicated it was in the first half.
“It’s good but the way we play we can improve in many, many things and concepts.”
And Guardiola faced the media again on Monday afternoon to discuss his side’s looming clash with Shakhtar in the Champions League on Tuesday, saying that the Ukrainian champions deserve credit.
Manchester City coasted to a comfortable win in their opener away at Feyenoord, but, with their opponents also running out impressive 2-1 winners against Napoli, he is taking nothing for granted.
As relayed by City’s Twitter account, Guardiola said: “Every time I play Shakhtar, I have the same feeling. When I faced them first time my team went to see them and came back and said ‘wow’.
“They are very good. Zonal marking, deep full backs, they are a physically strong team. Shakhtar deserve all my credit.”
Tuesday will represent the seventh time that Guardiola has faced the Ukrainian side during his managerial career, and City will have the chance to stretch ahead of the rest of Group F with a win.