Soccer-Man City's Foden doesn't want to think about Pep leaving

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v West Ham United - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - May 19, 2024 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates with Phil Foden after winning the Premier League Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith/File Photo

(Reuters) - Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden, speaking ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final with derby rivals United, said he doesn't want to think about manager Pep Guardiola's possible departure next season.

Guardiola, after leading his team to an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title, hinted at a potential departure at the conclusion of his contract next season, saying he is closer to leaving the club than staying.

"I've not known any other thing apart from him," Foden told BBC Sport in an interview published on Thursday. "So it'll be strange when he does go. I don't want to think too much about it. I want to enjoy the things we're doing now with him."

Foden, who was front and centre at City this campaign, was crowned the league's player of the season. He scored 27 goals and registered 11 assists in all competitions while playing centrally as well as on the wing when needed.

"I feel like there's other managers out there who complicate it a little bit," Foden said of the Spaniard.

"The best advice he gave me this season was ‘don't try and be Phil Foden in every action’, and I feel like that advice really went a long way."

Now credited with helping Foden develop versatility in his game, Guardiola was criticised for not giving the 23-year-old enough playing time in previous seasons.

"I think I believed in what the manager was saying. I believed in the process," he added.

"When I wasn't playing, I knew there were better players in front of me. And I knew the more I grew up and the longer time that went, there'd be opportunity for me."

Foden rejected suggestions that City would easily win the FA Cup final at Wembley. "Last year United didn't make it easy for us," he added.

"When it’s a derby, on your day anyone can win so, it's something we have to look forward to and be at our best if we're going to win."

(Reporting by Shifa Jahan in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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