Manchester City have confirmed that Pep Guardiola will become the Premier League club’s new manager ahead of the 2016-17 season after penning a three-year deal with the club.
The 45-year-old, who is currently in charge at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, will replace Chilean boss Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium once he leaves on June 30.
City’s official statement read, “Manchester City can confirm that in recent weeks it has commenced and finalized contract negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become MCFC Head Coach for the 16/17 season onwards.
“The contract is for three years. These negotiations were a re-commencement of discussion that were curtailed in 2012.
“Out of respect for Manuel Pellegrini and the players, the club wishes to make its decision public to remove the unnecessary burden of speculation.
“Manuel Pellegrini, who is fully supportive of the decision to make this communication, is entirely focused on achieving his targets for the season ahead and retains the respect and commitment of all involved with the leadership of the Club.”
Pellegrini was appointed manager of the Citizens back in June 2013 after leaving La Liga outfit Malaga that summer.
The 64-year-old brought instant success to the Etihad Stadium, guiding his team to the Premier League title and Capital One Cup trophy, although City have yet to win silverware throughout the past 22 months.
However the club could yet still win four trophies during Pellegrini’s final five months in charge; with the Citizens through to face Liverpool in the League Cup final, they are in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League where they will play Dynamo Kiev, they have been drawn against Chelsea in the fifth-round of the FA Cup and they are currently second in the Premier League table behind Leicester City.
The former Real Madrid and Villarreal coach has won 64 of his 99 English top-flight fixtures as a manager, a record only eclipsed by Portugal’s Jose Mourinho, who won 73 of his opening 99 league games as Chelsea boss once he first arrived at Stamford Bridge back in 2004.
So despite City still fighting on four fronts this campaign; plus Pellegrini’s impressive record in the Premier League, why have the club’s Abu Dhabi owners still decided to trigger a managerial switch this summer?
Well, Guardiola is widely regarded as the best manager in the world.
To summarise it shortly; the Spaniard is FC Barcelona’s most successful manager after lifting 14 trophies in just four years at the Nou Camp, including three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues.
After taking a year’s break from football before joining Munich in June 2013; Guardiola has already won the Bundesliga title twice in his first two campaigns at the Allianz Arena.
The defending champions are already eight points clear in his third season in charge this term and they have also picked up the DFB-Pokal Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup during his reign.
However he is yet to win the Champions League with the German club, being knocked out at the semi-final stage in successive years.
Munich face defending Serie A champions and last year’s Champions League finalists Juventus in the last-16 of Europe’s elite club competition later this month.