Manchester City have continued their recent run of tying down key players to a long-term contract, with Kevin De Bruyne signing a new five-year deal to keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2023.
Always been my intention to stay here at City
It is fair to say that the announcement of De Bruyne's latest deal has been overshadowed by a certain Alexis Sánchez completing his mega swap deal to the red side of Manchester, but there is no doubt that many City fans will be delighted to see their Belgian wizard tied down to a new contract.
De Bruyne has improved year-on-year since his bumper move from Werder Bremen back in the summer of 2015, but it has been in the current campaign when the 26-year-old has really come into his own.
The Belgian is not only now considered one of the best players in the Premier League, but on the planet, with his eight goals and 13 assists proving crucial.
De Bruyne has joined the likes of Nicolás Otamendi and Fernandinho to secure his future on Eastlands and stated that it was always his "intention" to sign on the dotted line.
“I am really happy to have signed this new deal," De Bruyne told mancity.com. “As I’ve said previously, my intention has always been to stay here at City, where I’ve felt at home from day one.
“Not only are we winning, we are playing great football.
"It’s a pleasure to be a part of and I’m really excited about what we can achieve in the coming years.”
Got to keep going forward
De Bruyne is one of many cogs that have driven the seemingly unstoppable City machine, which continued on Saturday as they once again sustained the hefty gap at the top of Premier League table to 12 points with a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United.
Their form now means that they are now mathematically 11 victories away from securing the title with 14 matches still to play and are still fighting in all four available competitions.
Next stop? A Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Bristol City and Pep Guardiola has stated that the best thing they can do to maintain forward thinking.
“The best way is to maintain forward,” Pep stated on the his side's focus. "I said to them we were the best team so far, but that doesn’t count. It counts after fixture 38.
“We have 14 games left and to win 10 or 11 games will be tough," the Catalan admitted. “I said don’t look back."
"Don’t look at our contenders behind. Look at what we have to achieve," Guardiola concluded. “If you try to look at what happened behind, that is not a good solution in my experience."