The Germany winger scored twice in City’s 6-1 win over Hong Kong side Kitchee in their latest pre-season tour game – with David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Spanish youngsters Nabil Touaizi and Iker Pozo also netting.
“We want him to stay and there is an offer waiting to talk with his agents to extend the contract,” said Guardiola. “It is not in our hands. He has to decide. If he wants to leave, he can do it but we will be sad.
After the furore that followed criticism of their ‘arrogance’ in Chinese State media after they played in the Premier League Asia Trophy last weekend, City have been on their best behaviour in Hong Kong.
This included every player shaking the hand of Kitchee’s long-serving South Korean defender Kim Dong-jin as he was substituted in the final appearance of a career that brought him 62 international caps. It is fair to assume none of the City squad had ever heard of him. Manager Pep Guardiola presented him with a personalised shirt as he reached the touchline, which went down well.ADVERTISEMENT
As it was 29C at kick-off, with humidity levels of 86%, it was the type of pre-season game that had little value, other than to serve City’s wider commercial ends as they slowly turn their success on the field into an expanding – monied – supporter base. This four-match trip was not made easier by a mistake with the arrangements for City’s initial flight to Shanghai which meant they did not arrive in China until 15 July, 48 hours behind schedule.