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Friday, June 14, 2024

Stefan Ortega signs new Man City deal as rumours persist over Ederson future

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Stefan Ortega has signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester City to keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2026 and has suggested he could agree a further deal after that.

The goalkeeper, who had hinted he would consider leaving the Premier League champions in search of regular football, has instead agreed to stay after playing a crucial role in helping City win the title – and has set himself the target of becoming the first-choice goalkeeper. The 31-year-old made 20 appearances this season, as Ederson had four spells on the sidelines with various injuries, and made a crucial save from Son Heung-min in the penultimate league match at Tottenham which proved pivotal in City becoming champions.

Ortega, who joined from Arminia Bielefeld in 2022, also played in the FA Cup final when his mix-up with Josko Gvardiol led to Alejandro Garnacho’s opener for Manchester United, but the German’s performances in general have led City director of football Txiki Begiristain to call him the best second-choice goalkeeper they have ever had.

Ederson has been tipped as a target for the Saudi Pro-League but has not asked to leave and City have received no offers for him but Ortega has ambitions of taking his place.

Ortega said: “I am delighted to be staying at Manchester City for longer. This is a football club that provides players with everything we need to be our best. Every single day I feel motivated and challenged, and I have improved as a goalkeeper since coming here two years ago.

“My family are really settled here in England, I love everything about it here. Signing this deal means I can now focus 100 per cent on next season and beyond. [My aim is to ] try to get the number one spot, this is why I signed for Man City.”

Begiristain added: “This is a crucial contract extension for Manchester City. Stefan is the best No 2 goalkeeper we’ve ever had, providing us with quality, stability and experience.

“He is such a talented keeper – our goalkeeping coach Xabi Mancisidor tells me all the time how good Stefan is. He is very skilled and it’s clear that since his arrival here he has contributed significantly to our success.”

Meanwhile, left-back Sergio Gomez is likely to go out on loan next season. The Spaniard has made 38 appearances in two seasons at City but has only started two league games. Real Sociedad are expected to be one of the teams interested.

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