Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini expects defender Martin Demichelis to sign a new contract with the club.
Demichelis, who joined City in the opening weeks of last season, has overcome a difficult start at the Etihad Stadium to establish himself as a key member of the champions’ rearguard.
The 34-year-old Argentinian is out of contract at the end of the campaign but Pellegrini, who has worked with the player at two previous clubs, is keen for him to stay.
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Pellegrini said: "We will see, in the next days maybe he can renew his contract.
"I think Martin is a very important player for our squad, he is an experienced player, he is a leader of our group. He wants to stay. Probably, he will sign another contract."
Demichelis, a former Bayern Munich centre-back, played for Pellegrini at River Plate and Malaga before following him to City after a strange, brief stint at Atletico Madrid, where he did not play a single game.
Pellegrini’s suggestions of a new deal come a year after Demichelis’ City career hit its nadir with his sending-off against Barcelona.
Demichelis’ early City performances were unimpressive and his dismissal in the Champions League last-16 tie first leg at the Etihad Stadium – a fixture which is repeated next week – attracted considerable criticism.
But he bounced back with some commanding performances in City’s successful Barclays Premier League title run-in and he is now likely to be rewarded with an extension.