Pep keen to keep Sterling

13 August 2018 04:10:38 EST

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has urged Raheem Sterling to commit his long-term future to the 2017/18 Premier League champions.

The 23-year-old England international has two years left on his contract but has been linked with a transfer to Real Madrid.

The former Liverpool star was outstanding as City began the defence of their Premier League title by beating Arsenal 2-0 in the capital.

Sterling opened the scoring against Unai Emery's team before Bernardo Silva doubled City's advantage in the second half.

"We are delighted with Raheem and would like him to stay," Guardiola said after the straightforward victory. "We'll do our best to make him feel we count on him. And we do count on him.

"In the end the agents may not have agreements and that may not happen. But he knows and his agent knows we like him and want him a lot."

Guardiola was also quick to praise Benjamin Mendy after the match.

Mendy missed most of last season with a cruciate knee ligament injury but the French left-back produced an all-action display against the Gunners.

Guardiola added: "Mendy is Mendy. Sometimes you want to kill him and sometimes you say, 'wow, what a player we have'.

"He gives us this extra energy. With Kyle [Walker] and him, when they attack so consistently, it is so important.

"But Mendy has a lot of things to improve. Hopefully we can convince him to be calm and focus on what he has to do."

Manchester City can be backed at 1/8 to win the Premier League title once again this season and at 5/1 to beat Huddersfield Town 3-0 on Sunday. Guardiola's team are also available at 1212/1 to win the Champions League this term.

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