Pep Guardiola urges caution in the deification of free-scoring Manchester City

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has discussed a potential new contract for playmaker Kevin de Bruyne - the former Barcelona coach admitting that he wants the Belgian to stick around for "as long as possible".

City will play Shakhtar Donetsk at 6.45am Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League.

"They beat one of the best teams in Napoli".

"Now I have five strikers, all of them deserve to play".

Shakhtar have been impressive enough this term, winning nine of their 11 games in all competitions, but City have been in formidable form.

"But the way we play, we can improve in many, many things and many concepts". City are dominating the possession stats and once they find a way through and get a lead they have been devestating in dismantling teams who come out and try to play against their superior passing game.

Guardiola said it was vital his team did not under-estimate their Ukrainian opponents who got their Group F campaign off to a good start by beating Napoli 2-1.

Guardiola feels his squad is in better shape this time around but still has ample room for improvement.

The England global, who moved from Tottenham in the summer in a £45million, says the pressure from a strong squad is keeping the players on their toes and that if standards slip, they will be out of the side.

The 35-year-old is fighting to clear his name saying he never knowingly ingested any banned substances. "Hopefully we can just keep performing". For Barcelona, Bayern, we have a good result but it was so tough. "I don't have players here I have in the past". I need them sharp.

City will look to build on their ideal start to the Champions League group stage following the 4-0 victory away to Feyenoord a fortnight ago.

Despite the club-record signing still having four years to run on his current deal, Guardiola confirmed City were working towards tying down the Belgium global.

"In order to focus on my defence and avoid any undue distractions for the team, I have made the decision to refrain from playing until the on-going legal proceedings have been resolved".

"Over the course of my entire career I was always under the impression that I had to persistently prove myself over and over again".

Guardiola said: "Shakhtar beat one of the best teams in Napoli".

Despite making only three starts, Sterling has scored more goals than any other FPL midfielder (five). "Shakhtar, it's Ukraine". The group is tricky.

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent.



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