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New York Times journalist says the “perfect environment” curated at Manchester City may lead to Pep Guardiola extending his stay at the club.

Guardiola’s City sealed an unprecedented fourth Premier League title in a row on Sunday – making it six in the Spaniard’s seven years in England – and could become the first side to win back-to-back doubles with victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup final on May 25.

The 53-year-old has one more year to run on his current deal and told Match of the Day he is closer to leaving City than completing another seven years in charge.

“I think the main thing that keeps him at City is that he has been built a club to his exact specifications and I think he can’t imagine a better environment to coach in,” Smith told the Monday Night Club.

“Everything there is as Guardiola would like it to be. I don’t know what other club he could possibly go and coach now.

“If you go to one of the big teams in Europe, there’s politics to deal with, there’s lots of outside influences and everything’s slightly chaotic. Bayern Munich just cannot find a manager, Barcelona is an endless kind of storm of politics and stuff.

“I think he knows he’s in a perfect environment. I think that’s the thing that keeps him at City, he knows for what he wants to do, there’s no better environment, but it’s also enabled him to create this perfect vision of what he wants football to be.”

City’s domination of English football under Guardiola has been criticised as damaging to the competition. However, Smith believes they are edging closer to becoming “the perfect football team”.

“I think his Barcelona teams were better to watch than this Manchester City team by quite a long way,” he said. “They were much more thrilling, but they were more thrilling because they were slightly flawed.

“You felt you could get at Barcelona. You knew they had the majesty up front but there was always that sense that you could get at them – often it was wrong.

“This City team are a masterpiece of control and Guardiola basically every year, like a Formula One engineer has been able to say, “That bit doesn’t work quite as well as it could – what about if we just do this and see what happens?”.

“He’s tweaked, he’s twiddled and he’s fiddled and they just keep getting more refined.”

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