Pep Guardiola: Injury problems a factor in Vincent Kompany extension
MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester City are in talks with Vincent Kompany over a contract extension but club boss Pep Guardiola admits there are concerns over his fitness.
The 32-year-old, who has been with the club for just over 10 years, is entering the final six months of the contract and is able to speak to other clubs about his future. Kompany has said he wants to remain at the club and Guardiola would like him to stay. But the sticking point his injury record with the Belgium international making just 51 appearances in the past three-and-a-half seasons.
"We are considering [a contract extension], we are talking about that," Guardiola told a news conference. "I would like it. He's our captain, 11 years here, we saw in the last two games the huge quality and personality he has to play, the only problem with Vincent is one -- his injury problems.
"One against one absolutely we're better when Vincent plays. [Aymeric] Laporte has a better left foot, every central defender has his own quality but there's no doubt Vincent has something special with his charisma, winning the duels, it's incredible, he's one of the best central defender I've ever seen. The problem is whether he's fit."
Kompany showed his quality with an outstanding performance in the 2-1 victory over Liverpool, which cut the leaders' advantage to just four points. He was rested for City's FA Cup victory over Rotherham United on Sunday but could be in contention for Wednesday's Carabao Cup semifinal with Burton Albion. City remain challenging in four competitions, while rivals Liverpool are only battling for the Premier League and Champions League but Guardiola believes there can be advantages to having more games.
"I prefer it, definitely," he said. "I like to be in the four competitions as far as possible, when Wigan put us out of the FA Cup last season I was sad. Since I arrived we played United and played with a lot of young players, the same the second season, the same the third season, that's what has happened.
"I take the cups seriously. Against Rotherham, for example, we played with nine players who didn't play against Liverpool and the nine were a good selection. It was perfect for the rhythm for [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Ilkay] Gundogan, [Nicolas] Otamendi, [Kyle] Walker. It's better to play Rotherham for 70 minutes for Kevin at full intensity and tomorrow trying to play a little longer.
"I'm not involved in what my opponents do. The reality for [Liverpool manager] Jurgen Klopp is he knows exactly what happened. Sometimes it happens when you have many problems, maybe I would take a decision to play with some others. I'm not the right person to judge what the others do because I don't like it when others judge our decisions."