Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has revealed he is close to signing a new contract with the club. The Brazilian has been one of the most important players for City in the last few years. But age is no more on the his side. He clocks 35 by the 4th of May and in the life of an average football player that’s retirement time.
Others move to less competitive yet lucrative leagues to spend a few more years until their legs can’t carry them anymore before finally calling it quits. The abundance of such players in China, Japan and Qatar as well as at Major League Soccer in the United States have led to leagues in those countries being referred to as retirement leagues.
But Fernandinho has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The former Shakhtar Donetsk’s man has continued to play a pivotal role in one of the best teams in the world. And when one of the best managers in the modern game considers a player so important to his project, there’s only one outcome. The result is that the Brazilian remains in his plans and makes the extension of his stay at the Etihad Stadium a given.
Out of contract at the end of the current campaign, speculations emerged earlier on that he was going to move on at its expiration. The stories increased when Rihad Mahrez mentioned the midfielder’s name in a Sky Sports quiz as one of the players set to leave the team at the end of the season. But the player has confirmed plans are underway for a contract extension.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil recently, he stated: “When I renewed at the end of 2018, we put a clause that if I reached certain goals, my contract would be renewed automatically.
“Conversations have already started, we talked about it last month. I am close to reaching those goals and renewing the contract, but we can only confirm it after signing.
“The club have already shown interest in me staying, I have also shown my interest in staying.”
Keeping the Brazilian in the squad beyond this season will be important for manager Pep Guardiola due to his experience and versatility. The 34-year-old has helped the team cope with the center-back crisis arising from Vincent Kompany’s departure and injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones. As captain, he also provides leadership for his teammates on and off the field.
With David Silva set to leave the club at season’s end, Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero will remain the longest serving squad members. They are also the most successful. Therefore, having them around for another year, especially when they are still vital on the pitch provides enormous benefits to the team.
Although Rodri was brought in to replace Fernandinho last summer and has done well, it's clear the Brazilian will still be needed even in midfield if the club signs a top center-back to partner Laporte in the defence next season. So a new deal for the player will benefit all parties involved.