Pep Guardiola urges Man City to destroy Arsenal transfer plans by organising key deal for unstoppable star

Pep Guardiola urges Man City to destroy Arsenal transfer plans by organising key deal for unstoppable star

Pep Guardiola has explained why Manchester City must tie down one of their best players to a new contract amid Arsenal threatening to steal him in a summer swoop.

There was another twist in the Premier League title race at the weekend as Arsenal were beaten 3-0 at home by Brighton. Goals from Julio Enciso, Deniz Undav and Pervis Estupinan saw Roberto de Zerbi’s side strengthen their grip on European qualification, while also leaving Arsenal’s title hopes in tatters.

Earlier on Sunday, City had eased past Everton with a 3-0 victory at Goodison Park, with Ilkay Gundogan notching a brace and Erling Haaland registering the 52nd goal of his stunning campaign.

Those two results mean City have a four-point lead with just three matches to play, while Arsenal have only two games left.

If Arsenal fail to beat Nottingham Forest on Saturday, or if City win their next league match against Chelsea, then Guardiola’s side will be crowned champions for the fifth time in six years.

One player who has been integral to City’s title push is central midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. The 32-year-old dominates the midfield pretty much every time he plays thanks to his tactical nous, tireless running and ability to get stuck in.

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Gundogan, who was named City captain at the start of the season, has been in brilliant form of late. He managed two goals in the recent 2-1 home win over Leeds and repeated that achievement against Everton.

Gundogan intelligently flicked past Jordan Pickford for the opener, despite having his back to goal. He then set up Haaland with a perfect left-footed chip into the box.

Man City could torch Arsenal transfer objective

And City’s win was secured when the skipper got the better of Pickford by picking out the top corner from a free-kick.

Surprisingly, Gundogan has been linked with a shock move to Arsenal. Spanish newspaper Sport have claimed Arsenal are ‘interested’ in signing the German, should he fail to agree a new contract in Manchester.

Gundogan’s current City deal expires this summer, which means he would be available on a free transfer.

But Guardiola is having none of it. Following the victory against Everton, Guardiola explained how he wants City to torch Arsenal’s summer plans by sorting out fresh terms for Gundogan.

“He doesn’t talk much but when he does everybody listens, this is the power of a leader,” Guardiola revealed (via BBC Sport).

“He shows every training session his leadership, arriving on time, living the job. He can play holding midfield defensively too in games like against Burnley last season when you need physicality.

“He is so intelligent, so clever and can handle the pressure really well.”

Gundogan ‘can do everything’, says Guardiola

Guardiola continued: “He can show again and again and again the quality, importance and his commitment to all of us.

“Not just scoring goals, he has the momentum and he can do everything.

“I told the club [to extend his contract]. Nobody knows what will happen. Hopefully he will stay.”

Arsenal are not the only major side to have been tipped to sign Gundogan. Barcelona are also keeping tabs on his situation and will swoop in if City fail to organise a new deal.

It is now up to the City hierarchy to sit down with Gundogan and meet his demands in terms of contract length and value.

They may be slightly concerned about Gundogan’s age given the fact he is in the twilight years of his career. However, in recent weeks the leader has shown he can win matches for City on his own, which is something Guardiola cannot do without.

Meanwhile, an elite Premier League star has been urged to ‘forget Arsenal’ and link up with Guardiola at City instead.

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