Pep Guardiola Contract Talks – Do They Hinge On The Champions League?

Photo Credit: AP

With the current Pep Guardiola contract at Premier League champions Manchester City entering its final year, will there be a new extension deal sorted out? A slightly strange situation has been bubbling as nothing concrete has been said about the situation. The fact that there is even a shadow of uncertainty about a new Guardiola contract deal raises eyebrows.

Given the current position that he is in with Man City, Guardiola has a serious chance of being the greatest Premier League manager of all time. But will he take the chance to bring more success to the Citizens?

The Move To Manchester City

The first Pep Guardiola contract deal at Manchester City was secured in early February 2016. He was given a three-year contract by the Premier League club. Given that this is the modern age where football managers rotate in and out of the doors of top clubs at a rapid rate, the longevity of Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium is notable.

At the start of the 2022/23 Premier League season, Guardiola was heading into his seventh season with the club. The two parties mesh together well. Extension deals to the Pep Guardiola Man City contract have been thrashed out before.

Understandably so as Manchester City have one of the best football managers at the helm. Guardiola has everything at his disposal to add further titles to his already glittering career. He gets the players he wants. Transfer money is never a problem. It appears to be the perfect marriage.

But there is a dark cloud potentially hovering on the horizon. It’s been there since 2016.

The Champions League Conundrum

Pep Guardiola won the UEFA Champions League twice with La Liga giants Barcelona. It was his history in the competition that held so much initial appeal in Manchester City going after their man.

Champions League-winning managers are hard to come by. Multiple winners are even tougher to find. But the Pep Guardiola Manchester City contract came to be and there were expectations that Champions League titles would follow.

They haven’t.

Guardiola’s second Champions League title was more than a decade ago in 2011 with Barca. If Man City are even remotely considering replacing Guardiola because of him not bringing the Champions League Trophy to the cabinet at the Etihad, that speaks to the ambition of the club.

It seems crazy that the thought would even be on the minds of the hierarchy. But it is football. And football is more than a game. It is a business and winning the Champions League brings huge financial rewards.

The Business Of The Champions League

In the 2021/22 season, the Champions League winner would in total, collect around €85m with television rights and prize money included. The actual prize money that 2022 Champions League winners Real Madrid banked was €15.5million for the match.

But that’s the tip of the iceberg. There are financial rewards every step of the way through the Champions League rounds and beyond. Winning the UEFA Champions League earns the victor a place in the European Super Cup.

Just qualifying for the European Super Cup (a fixture between the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League winners) returns a sum of €3.5million. Winning that match brings in further revenue of €1 million.

StagePrize Money
Champions League Group Stage Qualification€15.64million
Drawn Match Group Stage€930k
Group Stage Match Win€2.8million
Qualification to Last 16 €9.6million
Qualification to Quarter Finals€10.6million
Qualification to Semi Finals€12.5million
Qualification to Champions League Final €15.5million
Winning the Champions League€4.5million
European Super Cup Qualification€3.5million
Winning the European Super Cup€1million


Where Is The Guardiola Man City Contract Situation At?

When does Pep Guardiola’s contract end? The current deal he has at City expires in the summer of 2023. Ahead of the 2022/23 season, there was no really clear indication of how things may pan out. Some football news reported that Guardiola wouldn’t sign any kind of deal until his current contract had run out.

Other rumours going around the sports news world mentioned that if he doesn’t sign on for more, the Spaniard would take a break from the game. Guardiola himself was fairly clear that he wouldn’t walk out on City to take another immediate job because of his close ties to the club’s executives Txiki Bergiristain and Ferran Soriano.

But it is hard to take real bearings on the Pep Guardiola contract situation.

The extension talks aren’t likely to happen until the middle of the season which is common. Maybe not until the 2022 World Cup even. So is the uncertainty nothing more than a timing situation? Or are both club and manager really going to take stock at the end of the campaign? Is a big time for reflection coming up?

Guardiola – “I’m pretty sure I am happy here”

Pep Guardiola stated in an interview: ‘I’m pretty sure I am happy here and at the end, I’m going to stay and if not, it’s not because I want to move forward or move to another place.

“It’s because I will stop, I will take a break. These are my thoughts right now.”

Would winning the Champions League title for the first time with City, or indeed failing to win it again, have a bearing on the Pep Guardiola contract situation? Winning it alleviates the pressure, which could in turn mean that Pep has fulfilled an ambition and wants a break. Not winning it could leave the club wanting for more, and looking beyond Pep.

The Man City manager stated that whichever way the decision goes, the Champions League situation will indeed have no bearing.

“If I won the Champions League two or three years ago, what sense would it be for me to say ‘If I win the Champions League I have to leave?'” Guardiola said.

“No, it’s not about that. It’s not. My life is not dependent on that. Of course, I would like to win it. Yes, it’s a dream or a target to do it.”

Man City’s Champions League Record Under Guardiola

  • 2021/22 – Semi-Finals
  • 2020/21 – Final
  • 2019/20 – Quarter-finals
  • 2018/19 – Quarter-finals
  • 2017/18 – Quarter-finals
  • 2016/17 – Round of 16

What Weight Does Domestic Success Have In Pep Guardiola Contract Talks?

There’s no doubt about the success that Pep Guardiola brings to the table. The 51-year-old has many years ahead of him at the top of the game should he want them. He is one of the most highly coveted, highly respected football managers in the game.

He has delivered a domestic league title after domestic league title around Europe. The first Premier League title came his way in 2017/18. Manchester City posted 100 points in that campaign, finishing 19 points clear of their great rivals Manchester United. It was part of an incredible domestic treble that City earned that season.

Guardiola backed it up the following season with a successful title defence in the top flight. City came through a dramatic battle with a much-improved Liverpool to take the title ahead of the Reds by a single point.

After slipping behind the Reds the following season, Manchester City were back on top at the end of the 2021 Premier League season. That was an easier ride for City who won the crown by 12 points ahead of Man Utd, before defending that title in another squeaker of a duel with Liverpool by a single point the following term.

The Greatest Premier League Manager

If there is a new extension to the Pep Guardiola Man City contract then the Spaniard will have the chance to push on towards Premier League greatness. What would he have to achieve to be proclaimed as the greatest Premier League manager ever?

That would be beating the record haul of Sir Alex Ferguson during his time at Manchester United. Ferguson guided the Red Devils to a remarkable 13 Premier League titles, the last of which came in 2013.

Guardiola is second only to Sir Alex in the Premier League title-winning managers list. To put that in context, there are only two other men who have won the crown more than once. Arsène Wenger won it three times with Arsenal, and his great rival José Mourinho brought it home three times for Chelsea.

Premier League Winning Managers

  • Alex Ferguson, Man Utd, 13
  • Pep Guardiola, Man City, 4
  • José Mourinho, Chelsea, 3
  • Arsène Wenger, Arsenal, 3
  • Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea, 1
  • Antonio Conte, Chelsea, 1
  • Kenny Dalglish, Blackburn Rovers, 1
  • Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool, 1
  • Roberto Mancini, Manchester City, 1
  • Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City, 1
  • Claudio Ranieri, Leicester City, 1

Will The Titles Keep On Coming?

Titles have come and they will likely keep doing so as long as Guardiola remains at Man City. The owners support him with the cheque book and the arrival of prolific goalscorer Erling Haaland in the summer of 2022 potentially takes City to another level. Another step closer to the Champions League title, perhaps. That one signing is seen as City’s ticket to the title.

It is not just what Guardiola has achieved in England. He won the Bundesliga title three times with Bayern Munich. Before that he led Barcelona to consecutive La Liga titles in Spain. All that, with the following successes at City, left Guardiola heading into the 2022/23 season searching for his 11th league title.

But it is the one that keeps getting away that remains the big question. The Champions League. As long as City wants Guardiola, he may well stay a little longer. Do Man City want him? Surely.

Pep Guardiola’s salary offers from other clubs would come flying at him if he walked out of the Etihad. But there would not be many clubs at the top of European club football that would be able to pay for his services and meet his lofty ambitions.

Guardiola has conquered Spain. He’s conquered Germany. He’’s conquered England. What would be the next challenge? A Serie A club in Italy? PSG in France? Spain’s international team?