Manchester City have confirmed that former Barcelona manager and current Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola will become their manager in the summer.
Guardiola will take the reins from City’s current manager Manuel Pellegrini, who will depart at the end of the season. The 45-year-old has signed a three-year contract and will take over the team in July, in time for the 2016-17 season. The announcement terminates an abundance of speculation, linking the Spaniard with the two-time Premier League champions.
The hiring represents an important attainment, with Guardiola being widely considered as one of the best coaches in world football. Manchester City have stated that Manuel Pellegrini is “fully supportive” of the announcement. The club also said that negotiations with Guardiola had been “a recommencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012”.
Although Pellegrini has impressed critics and fans as City’s manager, the announcement is likely to stir excitement and expectation in everyone associated with the club. Pellegrini won the Premier League title in his first season as manager whilst winning 64 of his opening 99 Premier League games, a record eclipsed only by José Mourinho, who won 73 out of his 99 opening matches. This season, City could yet still win four trophies under Pellegrini.
But so far the Chilean has failed to make any sort of impact in the Champions League, and the introduction of Pep Guardiola is likely to make City a much more potent force within Europe.
Guardiola won a mesmerising 14 trophies in four years at Barcelona, including two Champions League titles. However since joining Bayern Munich in 2013 success in Europe has eluded him, despite winning everything there is to win on a domestic level in Germany.
Former City attacker Trevor Sinclair has said that the news is “a massive, massive statement by the club” and that it is “huge news for City fans”. He also added that Pep Guardiola is “the hottest manager out there. Every club would want him’’.
TNT Sport Billy Rooney