The German midfielder still has 18 months left to run on his current deal, but the Premier League champions are eager to see him pen extension
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Ilkay Gundogan “knows what we want” when it comes to a possible contract extension.
The German midfielder has entered the final 18 months of the deal he penned upon his arrival at the Etihad Stadium in 2016.
A four-year agreement will come to an end in the summer of 2020, but there is hope that fresh terms will be thrashed out long before then.
Guardiola has made no secret of his desire to see the 28-year-old commit his future to the club, with an “incredible” talent having highlighted his value of late while covering for Fernandinho in a holding role.
The City manager told reporters on Gundogan’s situation: “He knows what we want, but it’s in our hands.
“Gundogan played the last two games [against Rotherham and Burton Albion] like a holding midfielder, he had more space than usual – but he was so clever. He made an incredible assist and a lot of passes before the finish.
“His quality is incredible, we knew that.
“Unfortunately, the first season was a long injury, like [Benjamin] Mendy last season – and when he’s fit, he’s an incredible player.
“He can play that holding midfield role, he has the quality and the vision to pass. When he’s close to the box, he arrives in the right tempo and the right moment to score a goal – the goal from Kevin [De Bruyne against Burton] was quite similar. He’s a fantastic player.”
Gundogan provided four assists during a 7-0 FA Cup mauling of Rotherham before starring again in a 9-0 demolition of Burton.
There will be bigger tests to come over the next few weeks, but the versatility of a proven performer has helped to convince Guardiola that no cover needs to be brought in for Fernandinho during the winter transfer window.
The Catalan coach added: “He [Gundogan] needs to focus a little bit on the defensive issue and after that his quality is incredible.
“When we need a creative player in that position, I don’t think you can find one player in Europe who is more clear in their passing than Gundogan and we have it.
“That’s why in the transfer window when you ask me [if City will strengthen] and I say no it’s because I know the players and the quality and know exactly what they can give us until the end of the season.”
City will be back in action on Monday when they welcome Wolves to the Etihad Stadium, with that contest presenting them with an opportunity to move back to within four points of Premier League leaders Liverpool.