Less than 48 hours after Pep Guardiola had told Ilkay Gundogan that he “wants to feel that he wants to stay” at Manchester City, it would have been very easy for the Germany midfielder to tell his manager exactly what he wanted to hear.
Sat next to Guardiola at a press conference to preview the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie against Schalke at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, few could have blamed Gundogan had he plumped for the easy option and delivered a few platitudes when quizzed about his future.
But Gundogan had no intention of side-stepping some difficult questions, just as he insisted he will not be pressured into signing a new contract with City as he left the door open to a move. “There is no decision yet otherwise I would have signed or rejected a contract,” said Gundogan, whose side are firm favourites to progress to the quarter-finals after coming from 2-1 down with 10 men to beat Schalke 3-2 in the first leg in Germany.
“We are still in talks but I don’t feel there is much pressure, maybe also because we are still competing in all the competitions and want to go as far as possible in everything we are competing in. So obviously one day there has to be a decision but I am very happy at the moment here, especially about how we play under Pep, and that is the main thing.”