David Silva close to Manchester City contract extension - sources
MANCHESTER -- David Silva is close to signing a contract extension with Manchester City, sources have told ESPN FC, with Pep Guardiola saying he can have a big impact on the club's future.
ESPN FC has been told that Silva, 31, has agreed a new deal that will take him through to the summer of 2020, meaning he will have had 10 years with the club.
The City boss hailed the influence of the Spaniard during his time at the Etihad Stadium and says he has shown what it takes to succeed in the Premier League.
"What I like the most about David -- a guy who's a bit serious in his life, a little bit shy -- is how competitive he is and aggressive in winning duels, when normally he is a guy more about technique and passing," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City's clash with Southampton on Wednesday.
"I admire him a lot. He perfectly suits Spanish football, but here with the speed and the weather, the wind and the tough conditions, he has survived for a long time.
"Like Yaya Toure, like Joe Hart, like Vincent Kompany, and Pablo Zabaleta was, and many other players, he's a real legend for this club.
"What he's done for the club will be written in the history books in the future. I hope he'll continue for the next years.
"Of course new players will come in 23, 24 years old and in the future he won't be able to play every three days. But he's a guy who will play in the important stages and especially in the bad moments.
"The club need players who've played here for a long time to help players like Phil Foden in the future. When he can finally sign the contract we'll be so happy."
Former Spain boss Luis Aragones once said that Silva had the "biggest cojones" in his national team. Guardiola is also an admirer of the midfielder's bravery to want the ball in difficult situations and said he is always at the front during hard times.
"When you talk courage, the guy who jumps, make tackles, but when there are troubles they don't want the ball," Guardiola added.
"Everything is important in football but I like a lot the players who, when you are a in a bad situation, step forward.
"He looks skinny and like he doesn't run too much but he's never injured and every three games he's fit, he's there.
"It doesn't matter if it's a friendly game or important game, he's ready. That is the strong guy, who is ready, and fit.
"Two years ago before I came he had a problem in his ankle but last season and this season he's been important.
"I like guys who are strong and want to play, but I like more the guys who are not afraid to play all the time and with David you have that a lot."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.