Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is confident Kevin De Bruyne will sign a new long-term deal at the club.
There is a new contract on the table for the Belgium midfielder, who is currently tied to City until 2023, but it is yet to be signed.
However, Guardiola is not too concerned.
“I am pretty sure he will stay but at the same time we have to respect the process,” he told Sky Sports News.
“I don’t know what is going on as I didn’t speak with Txiki (Begiristain, City’s director of football).
“But he knows how we appreciate him, not just as a football player but as a person.
“He is very important for the club. I am not worried. But at the end of course it is his decision.”
De Bruyne will be a key figure in the Carabao Cup semi-final against neighbours Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
City are bidding to win the trophy for a fourth successive season, and a sixth time in eight years, and having beaten their arch-rivals in a two-legged semi-final last season, Guardiola goes into the tie confident.
“My team won three times in a row. A semi-final for a fourth time in a row means a lot. If it would not be important we would have dropped it before,” he added.
“We cannot expect it to be more difficult than it should be with the rival we are going to face.
“United was above Manchester City and for us it is an incredible honour to be, over the last decade, there with them: sometimes win, most of the times, and lose some times.”
United’s last trophy was the Europa League in 2017, during which time City have won the Premier League twice, the League Cup twice and the FA Cup.
However, this season Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have racked up eight victories in a 10-match unbeaten Premier League run which has put them in a position where they can overtake defending champions Liverpool before the pair meet at Anfield on January 17 if they can secure a point at Burnley next Tuesday.
“They have always been contenders. Every year, when we start the season, United is a contender,” said Guardiola.
“If it didn’t happen in the last few seasons, it is a question for them. It is no different facing United or other contenders.
“That is the truth (that everyone is improving). That is what it looks like right now.
“Years before it was between two, maybe three (clubs), but no more than that. Now there are many teams and everyone can win and everyone can lose.
“We will now see the consistency of every club and the ups and downs, every club has good moments and bad moments.
“As long as the competition goes on, I think the big teams are going to drop less points.
“That is the real Premier League competition where everyone can beat everyone.
“It is about being calm, being fresh for the moment of the game, praying to not be infected by this pandemic situation around the world and being fresh the moment the game starts.”
On the eve of the match City paid tribute to their former midfielder Colin Bell, a club great who made 492 appearances and scored 152 goals during his 13-year stay after joining in 1966, following his death aged 74.
City said their players will all wear number-eight shirts in tribute to Bell before kick-off on Wednesday.
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