Fernandinho reiterates future hint as Man City star looks to follow lead of 43-year-old Ze Roberto

The experienced Brazilian, who is now 34 years of age, is yet to commit to a contract at the Etihad Stadium beyond the end of the current campaign

Fernandinho has reiterated that an extended stay at Manchester City remains a possibility for him, with the Brazilian taking inspiration from countryman Ze Roberto who played until 43 years of age.

As things stand, a 34-year-old versatile operator is approaching the end of his contract at the Etihad Stadium.

If no fresh terms are agreed, then Fernandinho will drop into the free agent pool this summer.

Pep Guardiola has spoken of his desire to keep a Blues stalwart on his books, while the South American is ruling nothing out.

He admits that another deal could be reached with City, with there still plenty for him to offer – as Ze Roberto once did before hanging up his boots at Palmeiras in 2017.

Quizzed on his future by Sport360 and whether an agreement can be reached in Manchester, Fernandinho said: “Hopefully.

“We will see how long I keep playing too. To be honest I don’t think about that now.

“Of course I want to keep playing, but I don’t put on myself that I will play until 40 or something. I will play as long as I feel good and I can give a good performance back to the team.

“You have to look after yourself too and it’s the best way to perform.

“We have a player who played for so many years in Germany and then after in Brazil, played until he was 43. Ze Roberto is his name. Gabi [Jesus] played with him as well at Palmeiras. He was a winger, left back, midfielder, played for Real Madrid, Bayern, so many different positions as well.

“He was an inspiration for me because he was a top player and played at a high level until he was 43.

“As I said, I don’t want to say I will go on until then because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I am happy and this happiness is making me keep playing and perform better.”

Fernandinho joined City from Shakhtar Donetsk for £34 million ($44m) in the summer of 2013 and has gone on take in 270 appearances for the club.

The vast majority of those have come in a midfield role, but he has figured in a variety of other positions and claims to have enjoyed his outings as a makeshift centre-half this season.

He added: “I am feeling good, feeling confident.

“I’m happy to be playing in this position, to be playing alongside these players and of course this is motivation for me to stay in that way.

“I think this change has helped me grow up as a player. When you play in certain different positions you can understand the game better and try to help the other team-mates as well.

“I know what role the holding midfielder should do, the centre-back playing left or right and the full-back, it’s all really clear in my head. I think this has helped me get better.

“I think I adapted myself, playing the way I played. Sometimes we have a specific way to play, that’s all.

“So playing in defence, it opens your mind, especially under Pep because you can understand the game easier.

“We have a lot of meetings about tactics, positioning, how you have to move the ball, how you have to pass the ball, which player is free and which player you have to man mark. It helped me. For me, it doesn’t matter playing midfield or centre-back.

“Of course when I’m in good form and fitness, then my performance helps the team as well.”

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