Pep Guardiola is eager to keep Ilkay Gundogan at Manchester City but admits the midfielder is not 100 per cent committed to signing a new contract.
Gundogan, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund in 2016 and was Guardiola’s first signing at the club, has previously spoken about the possibility of running down a deal that expires in July 2020.
Despite not being a regular first choice at the Etihad Stadium, Gundogan – who has spent long spells in the treatment room since joining the Premier League club – is still highly valued by Guardiola, who wants to retain the Germany international’s services, with negotiations ongoing.
“In the first season he couldn’t play because of a tough injury, six or seven months out, but always when he was able to play a lot of games he is an incredibly important player,” said the City boss ahead of Saturday’s visit to Bournemouth.
“He knows what we want, he knows what we think about him, but it’s the same as other cases like we said in the past, at the end the last decision is not in our hands.
“We try to speak with him, we want him to extend the contract right now. Yesterday would have been better than today, and today better than tomorrow. But if he doesn’t want to, we cannot do anything else.
“If he was 100 per cent then the deal would have been done. We are still in negotiations.”
Vincent Kompany’s City future is also yet to be decided and is another who has often been laid low by injuries.
But Guardiola insists the Belgian’s fitness over the remainder of this season will not be a factor in determining his fate.
“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I think that will not be the reason why for Vincent staying one more year or two more years or not. I think that is not the reason why.”