KEVIN DE BRUYNE has urged Pep Guardiola to stay and lead a glittering era at Manchester City.
The Etihad chief – whose team were crowned Premier League champions on Sunday – has just one year left on his deal.
AFP Kevin De Bruyne has urged Pep Guardiola to lead Man City into a glittering new era
City are confident he will stay on with talks over an extension due to start in the summer.
Sources close to Pep say he is undecided over how long he will stay – but KdB is hoping this is just the start.
He said: “What we want to do now is continue playing the way we have this season and become even stronger.
“The manager is a big part of that and hopefully these can be his first trophies of many here at City. Everyone knows he’s one of the best coaches in the world.
Getty Images – Getty Kevin De Bruyne, right, and David Silva, left, have helped fire City to the Premier League title
PA:Press Association Belgian star De Bruyne has been the standout player for the Cityzens this campaign
“To achieve what he has achieved in the game is special and to be part of a group of players led by him can only help us to keep developing. He came in two years ago and changed the way we play.
“That obviously takes time to adapt to but we’ve developed together and this season is a reward for all that work.”
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Guardiola has refused to answer any questions about his future in recent months – while City’s hierarchy have always planned talks during this close season.
The indications are that him and his family are settled in Manchester – and will be around for at least a couple more years.
Capela Scores 26 Rockets Eliminate Wolves With 122-104 Win
Clint Capela had 26 points and 15 rebounds, James Harden added 24 points and the Houston Rockets pulled away in the third quarter to get another lopsided win and eliminate the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 122-104 victory in Game 5 of the first-round series Wednesday night.
The top-seeded Rockets are headed to the second round for the second year in a row after taking care of the eighth-seeded Timberwolves. Minnesota was in the postseason for the first time since 2004.
Houston will await the winner of the Utah-Oklahoma City series, which the Jazz lead 3-2 after the Thunder rallied from a big deficit Wednesday night to avoid elimination.
After scoring 22 points in Houston’s 50-point third quarter in a Game 4 blowout Monday night, Harden poured in half of Houston’s 30 points in the third quarter on Wednesday night to put the Rockets up for good. His 15 third-quarter points matched Minnesota’s output in the frame and he finished with 12 assists.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Jamal Crawford added 20 points off the bench.
Andrew Wiggins scored the last four points of the third quarter to cut the lead to 85-74 entering the fourth quarter. The Rockets used a 7-2 spurt, highlighted by a 3 from Ryan Anderson, to start the fourth and make it 92-76 with 9 1/2 minutes left.
A basket by Derrick Rose got Minnesota within 14 later in the fourth when Houston went on a 10-4 run to push the lead to 108-88 with less than five minutes to go.
The Wolves got consecutive 3s by Jamal Crawford and Wiggins to cut the lead after that, but the Rockets scored the next five points to end that run and cruise to the victory.
The Rockets opened the second half with a 10-2 run to erase a halftime deficit and take a 65-61 lead with about nine minutes left in the third. Chris Paul, who finished with 12 points and nine assists, had four points in that stretch and Harden and P.J. Tucker added 3-pointers.
Minnesota scored the next five points to go back on top, but Harden scored five quick points after that to leave the Rockets ahead 70-66. Harden, who had just five points at halftime, hit a 3 before throwing down a one-handed dunk over Taj Gibson that prompted Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau to call a timeout.
The timeout didn’t do anything to slow Harden and the Rockets down, and he added another 3 on Houston’s first possession after the timeout.
Towns added a basket after that before Houston scored the next eight points to extend the lead to 81-68 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the quarter.
Things got a little testy after that when Crawford pushed Paul to the court and stood over him jawing. Paul got to his feet and got in his face, but the two were quickly separated and Crawford was given an offensive foul and a technical.
Timberwolves: Tyus Jones returned after sitting out in Game 4 with a sore knee. … Jimmy Butler had eight points and Wiggins finished with 14. … Jeff Teague scored 17 and had seven assists.
Rockets: Coach Mike D’Antoni said that Luc Mbah a Moute, who missed the entire first round after dislocating his right shoulder, is getting better and will be re-evaluated next week. … Eric Gordon scored 19 points. … Houston had just four turnovers.
The Rockets will host the first two games of the Western Conference semifinals against the winner of the Jazz-Thunder series.
Raptors Wizards Honor Victims Of Toronto Van Attack With Moment Of Silence
TORONTO — The Raptors honored the victims of Monday’s deadly van attack in Toronto with a moment of silence Wednesday night before their Game 5 win over the Washington Wizards.
Players from both teams held up banners with the hashtag (hash)TORONTOSTRONG as they stood on the court during the tribute and the national anthems that followed.
The Raptors, the Wizards and the NBA will make a donation to a fund for victims and those affected by the incident.
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Raptors president Masai Ujiri spoke about the attack after the Raptors practiced Tuesday.
“What we do doesn’t really matter sometimes,” Ujiri said before the Raptors’ 108-98 win. “I can’t imagine what it would be like to be on that sidewalk.”
Toronto guard Kyle Lowry said he was impressed by the actions of Const. Ken Lam, who earned international acclaim for the peaceful arresting of suspect Alek Minassian.
“In America, he would definitely have been shot up,” Lowry said. “He did an amazing job of making a judgment call. I think more people could learn from that.”
Raptors coach Dwane Casey was struck by how close the carnage occurred to his own Toronto neighborhood.
“It’s not too far from up the street from where I live,” Casey said.
Casey and his coaches were in the midst of a meeting Monday afternoon when assistant Rex Kalamian’s phone buzzed with someone informing him of the tragedy. The coaches stopped their meeting and turned on a television to find out what had happened.
“It’s very unfortunate,” Casey said. “Just this weekend, I was talking to people saying how safe Toronto is, how it’s a melting pot and you don’t have the same crime. Hopefully, though, sport can offer a relief, some reprieve.”
Like Casey, Ujiri said he is proud of Toronto’s reputation as a safe, welcoming place.
“Everywhere I go, I brag about this city,” Ujiri said. “It’s the safest place in the world. It’s the best city in the world, and it’s going to continue to be the best place and the best city in the world.”
Toronto police said the 10 people killed and 14 injured in the attack were “predominantly” women, but they have declined so far to discuss a motive. The 25-year-old Minassian has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.
Horse racing tips: Beverley, Perth, Warwick, Kempton and Chelmsford – Steve Mullen’s betting preview for the racing this Thursday, April 26
BEVERLEY 1.30 RAFFLE KING has a nice low draw and that could make all the difference in this tight sprint. He’s shown promise on his first couple of starts since joining Ruth Carr and he’s on a fai…
RAFFLE KING has a nice low draw and that could make all the difference in this tight sprint. He’s shown promise on his first couple of starts since joining Ruth Carr and he’s on a fair mark after a second at Wolverhampton and third at Chelmsford. He also has a fitness advantage on some of these rivals.
PICCOTHEPACK can put her experience of the track to good use against some nice newcomers. She wasn’t asked too many questions on debut at Chelmsford before running on well in the closing stages. She should build on that.
PLACEBO EFFECT kept on improving last season after winning a couple of sellers. He stepped up on that when scoring in nursery company and finished the season with a good third at Redcar. He likes this trip and looks on a decent mark.
VENTURA GOLD left his effort a bit too late when third at Wolverhampton last time out. He made up plenty of ground in the closing stages and should be closer to the pace today off the same mark.
FRAMLEY GARTH was a pretty impressive winner at Doncaster last time, running on strongly stepped up to this distance. He’s been upped 7lb for that but is still fairly handicapped on his old form. He could well strike again while in such good nick.
AL HAWRAA got stuck in the mud at Musselburgh last time but it was still a fair effort to finish third. He had earlier won with plenty in hand at Hamilton and should be competitive again from 5lb higher than that success.
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