Ilkay Gundogan has hinted that he is close to agreeing a new contract with Manchester City.
The Germany midfielder, who joined the Premier League champions from Borussia Dortmund in 2016, has just entered the final year of his current deal.
There has been speculation about the 28-year-old’s future but now it seems he could be about to extend his stay at the Etihad Stadium.
“If you stay patient for another couple of weeks you will know. We will see,” said Gundogan when asked about the situation after the Community Shield on Sunday.
“Every situation is different and individual. Everyone has to take a decision for himself. These kind of decisions sometimes take a little bit of time.
“During last season I asked people to be patient because it’s a decision you make for the next few years. That’s why I was calm and relaxed and still am. It’s a comfortable situation for me at the moment.”
Gundogan featured as a second-half substitute as City beat Liverpool 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the season-opener at Wembley at the weekend.
After last season’s treble success, Gundogan felt the win set a good tone for the new campaign.
He said: “It was a good start. It is always a good feeling to go into the first official game and win it, and win a trophy, so we are obviously very happy about the result.
“It was a tough opponent, the toughest it is possible to get, so we will take that.”
Raheem Sterling gave City a 12th-minute lead but Liverpool, who hit the woodwork three times, claimed a deserved equaliser through Joel Matip 10 minutes from time.
Mohamed Salah almost won the game in injury time but Kyle Walker made a dramatic goalline clearance.
It then came down to a shoot-out and City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo provided the decisive moment, saving from Georginio Wijnaldum.
After last season’s tight Premier League title race, the difference between the two sides was again minimal and Gundogan expects another tough battle in the coming year.
He said: “I definitely expect the level will not drop. I think it will increase over the next few weeks.
“We are not through our preparations so both teams are not 100 per cent, but the game really showed it’s tight, that both teams have a lot of quality and if both teams are going to improve it will be even more work to follow us two.
“But I think there will be a couple more contenders, at least, for top spot in the Premier League so it should be an exciting season.”
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