Pep Guardiola insists he has not decided to leave Manchester City in 2023

Pep Guardiola has given Manchester City hope that he could still be their manager in 2026 after declaring that he is not definitely leaving in 2023.

The Spaniard remains adamant that he will take a break from management after his spell at the Etihad Stadium ends but has moved to clarify comments he made in a Zoom call to Brazil when he suggested he would depart when his contract finishes at the end of next season.

“I didn’t say after two years I will finish my period in Manchester City,” he said. “I can leave maybe in two months if the results are not good or if the organisation is tired of me or if I cannot handle better the players. I can leave in three months or I can leave in five years.

“What I said in my Zoom connection with the people in Brazil is after my period with Manchester City I will take a break, that is for sure. It can be in one month, in two years, in three years, in four years, in five years. Right now, I don’t have reasons to leave but I am thinking in two seasons I am going to leave Manchester City. When I am finished [here] I will take a rest a little bit after 12 or 13 years without a stop.”

Guardiola also attributed City’s failure to sign Harry Kane to Tottenham’s refusal to negotiate, even as he warned Spurs that they would not have paid a world-record £200m for the striker. “The club did absolutely everything,” Guardiola added.

“We didn’t talk to Tottenham, not even one offer, because they didn’t want to negotiate and when [only] one team wants to negotiate, there is nothing to say. Tottenham didn’t want to talk so we didn’t talk.

“The moment they open the door, maybe we will see. Maybe they would say they want £200m but we will not pay £200m for one reason: because we don’t have it. So we tried to open the door to negotiate but the big master of the negotiation Daniel Levy knows everything, and he would not do it. Maybe I would do the same if I had Harry Kane in my team.”