"All clubs would be delighted to have him" - Pep Guardiola Pre Leeds Press Conference
Ahead of Manchester City hosting Leeds on Saturday (12:30 BST), Pep Guardiola spoke to the media to discuss Marcelo Bielsa, De Bruyne's new contract, the ongoing fight against racism and tomorrow's visitors, Leeds United.
Kevin De Bruyne signed a fresh two-year contract extension on Wednesday and Guardiola discusses what he wants the midfielder to be in his upcoming years. The Belgian is 29 already and has four years now left on his deal.
"We will see from Kevin what he wants to be. This type of player with six years here already, what he wants will be possible. it depends on him."
Rangers and Swansea are two clubs that have boycotted social media in the ongoing battle against racism towards footballers and Guardiola was asked if it can solve the issue.
"Hopefully but I think world football can help but it is not going to solve. it is part of society. Schools, educate day by day. Start new generations to do it but if we can help through this football platform to do it then it is more than welcome."
Marcelo Bielsa, someone who Guardiola has idolised since becoming a coach, reacted to his Argentina compatriot's comments about City being "magic."
"I'm overwhelmed, I feel weird. He's a huge competitor. I'm not going to try to be weak after these words because they can do whatever they want. I'm overwhelmed. He's the most honest person. When I was able to speak with him, what he says is what he believes. He doesn't say anything or do anything for the media. That's why I'm overwhelmed because everybody knows my admiration and respect. He will always be in my heart and I always feel I don't deserve it because of course if there is one person who can find the secret or the way we want to play it is him. His work ethic and his knowledge about the game. I know how tough it will be tomorrow but hopefully, we are prepared to compete because of a part of this. We are three games away to be champions and tomorrow we have another opportunity to make a bigger step. The players know because we face them there in the first leg how difficult it was and tomorrow will not be an exception. The quality of the manager and the backroom staff show in the position of the table. Being promoted the last season and already safe. They have done incredibly well all season."
"He will always be in my heart."
Guardiola also had praise for Leeds United, who drew with City back in September.
"I'm pretty sure they deserved completely what they got so far. I admire a lot of things they do, especially how they behave on the pitch. it doesn't matter the opponent or the competition, it is a completely different game from what we have played so far because they demand you to do something that you're not used to. At the same time, it is a challenge because we are so close - we need three wins and one draw -a and when you play at home it is another opportunity. it is between important games against Dortmund but it is what we have to do."
"I would say to copy the words from Marcelo. All the managers are completely alone in their defeats, players follow you when you win and leave you alone when you lose. Winners always smell good and when you lose you smell really bad. I agree completely with that. Every decision taken after victory is good and after defeat is not good. That's why it is better to be calm and be honest with yourself about the decisions you have to take. Football is played with human beings and human beings are not perfect. You have to accept it."
And more on Bielsa...
"His teams are one team before his arrival are always better. You see his influence. he doesn't need much time to make it his own team, it belongs absolutely to him and for world football, it is a joy. A guy who respects the opponent, who plays for the fans, who just wants to play for a victory home or away and convinces the players to follow him. I recognise the best because people say he doesn't win titles but give him Manchester City and he will win titles. it depends on the players you have but the players he has are always better. That is the best proof when a manager is good."
Guardiola then praised Dias, who made his debut against this opposition back in September. The defender has been key ever since to City's renaissance.
"He has been so important so far. We still have two months but he has been so important with clean sheets and leadership and the quality that he has played. The game that was a long time ago and football can change in a week. They were not in the first moment but we fought a lot and the first 20 minutes were brilliant. We have to do our best tomorrow again to get results against them. It is a team that the result doesn't matter, the game will not be over, the resilience they have I have never seen before. They fought and continued to do it until the end and it is a team you cannot beat even when 3-0 up. It will be a tight game. I know it right now, like when we played West Ham at 12.30 after the Champions League. But I trust a lot with the players and the way they trained today because they feel that we are in a position where we are close."
"He has been so important so far. We still have two months but he has been so important with clean sheets and leadership and the quality that he has played."
And now some more on De Bruyne's new contract. Guardiola was asked if it was a statement of intent by City to prove they keep their stars.
"I'm never involved in players extending the contracts, that is Txiki. I'm more than delighted for the time we spent together in the past and hopefully in the two months ahead, we can do a good step forward. If the club is satisfied and Kevin is satisfied then I am satisfied. Congratulations to Kevin, his family and Man City because they are the reason why he stays here."
De Bruyne will have spent ten years at City by the time his contract expires and this was brought up to Guardiola, who said:
"It is not normal but some players are not normal. We are delighted and hopefully, more players can join in this position. I can talk for myself, I have been here five years and will be here two more in principle if the situation goes well. The club helps us and I'm glad important players like Kevin can have all the worlds in his hands, all clubs would be delighted to have him so it is a big compliment for Manchester CIty."
"All clubs would be delighted to have him so it is a big compliment for Manchester CIty."
And finally, Guardiola was asked if De Bruyne's talent could be coached, to which he gave a pretty simple answer.
"Natural ability. it comes from his mum and dad. It belongs absolutely to him."
All quotes were taken from Manchester Evening News.