Pep Guardiola has said he may decide at the end of the season whether to sign a new contract at Manchester City, and will not "betray" the club whenever he leaves.
The manager is in his sixth year at the champions and has a deal to summer 2023. Guardiola, who was 51 on Tuesday and has previously coached Barcelona and Bayern Munich in a 14-year career, says he continues to feel energised by the job.
“I’m not good enough to think far away,” he said. “My future always depends on results. So, play Southampton [today], rest a little bit then [carry on] and at the end of the season we’ll see what happens.”
Guardiola offered insight into how his passion is retained. “Still we can play better, still some players can improve [and] I see things I don’t like. I won’t think about the future when I have still the contract I have.”
The manager was asked how long he could continue in elite-level management.
“I don’t know – I feel good and comfortable. When I’m not energetic and feel a little bit drained or tired, I’m pretty sure I will quit. But right nowI feel good. My decision [when to leave City] will be taken with the club. They gave me everything so I cannot betray them. Or do anything wrong to them. That would not be nice.
“Together we took decisions for me to come here and to extend the contract two times [until now] and it will be the same [in future] it depends how they feel about me, how I feel myself in the club.
“Now I never think for 24 hours a day what is going to happen far away. In football the end of the season is far away.”
Guardiola’s team are hoping to win a 13th consecutive league match at Southampton. He praised the set-piece delivery of Southampton’s captain James Ward-Prowse.
“He’s the best taker right now worldwide,” he said. “There isn’t better than Ward-Prowse. He’s so good at it that maybe you miss his quality as a player as well. He is a guy who adapts in midfield positions, a team player who has great quality with or without the ball. At free-kicks, corners he is exceptional.”