City announced in the evening that their defender had put pen to paper on a two-year extension, adding to his current year and keeping him at the Etihad until 2026. In doing so, they went against their usual policy of not offering longer-term contracts to players over 30 – a sign of how much they still value the right-back.
For long parts of the summer, Walker&aposs future at City was in doubt with Bayern Munich making no attempt to hide their interest. The 33-year-old had not yet been offered an extension and was weighing up the prospect of securing his future for multiple seasons in Germany.
Guardiola has sanctioned multiple exits at City this summer, with Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte both heading to Saudi Arabia while Ilkay Gundogan joined Barcelona as a free agent. But the City boss had appeared to put his foot down regarding Walker and his midfield teammate, Bernardo Silva.
Both had been attracting interest from top European sides – Bernardo was on the radar of Paris Saint-Germain – but Guardiola was at pains to keep two experienced and consistent stars.
It will be my dream,” Guardiola said when quizzed on a potential new deal for Bernardo. “Like Kyle Walker. Hopefully it happens. From the deep of my heart, from the bottom of my heart, I wish [it happens].
At the end of August, and with the summer transfer window still open, Bernardo committed his future to City by signing a contract until 2026. He cited a desire to keep winning major trophies but spoke fondly of his relationship with Guardiola as well.
The closing of the summer window all but confirmed Walker would stay at City for another season but his future beyond the next 12 months remained uncertain. He and Guardiola spent several hours together at a Japanese restaurant in Manchester city centre at the start of August but nothing was signed for over month afterwards.