Manchester City confident Pep Guardiola will stay long-term - sources
Manchester City will open discussions with manager Pep Guardiola in the summer and are confident that he will stay beyond his current three-year deal, sources have told ESPN FC.
Senior club officials hope the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss will sign an extended deal to help create a long-term legacy. City believe that Guardiola can help build an era of dominance similar to that seen at Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Catalan, who has guided City to an 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League, signed a three-year deal when he took charge in the summer of 2016 and remains relaxed about his future.
"I was happy last season, so you can imagine how happy I am now. I've been comfortable here since the beginning. It is not a big issue," he said in November.
City are also calm about the situation and ESPN FC has been told that they believe Guardiola will be open to remaining at the Etihad Stadium for longer.
Guardiola had a difficult first campaign, failing to win a trophy for the first season in his managerial career as City finished third in the Premier League and were knocked out of the Champions League at the round-of-16 stage -- both the worst records of his career.
But the club never doubted his qualities after securing the most sought-after coach in world football when he decided to leave Bayern in his final season.
They backed him in the summer to reshape the squad with a near £200 million spend and the improvement has been immense with City setting an English record of 16 successive victories.
Guardiola has a young squad with first-team players Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Ederson Moraes all under 24, while Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz are coming through the club's academy.
There is a belief that Guardiola could deliver the first ever Champions League trophy in the club's history.
He left Barcelona after four years to take a sabbatical and Bayern after three years, but sources say that does not preclude him from staying at City for a longer period of time.
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.