HAVING indicated that he was looking to take over the management of a Premier League club, it was obvious that there would be a few candidates for former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola and it wasn’t so much a matter of if, but when and where.
The winners were Manchester City but, in an unusual turn of events, the announcement made on February 1 that he would replace Manuel Pelligrini on June 30 came as something of a surprise as the Chilean coach is still in the running to win four trophies and is second only to recently displaced Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho in a list of winning Premier league coaches.
According to a spokesperson for the UAE owned City, Pelligrini was consulted about the change and is fully supportive but as he has a recently renewed contract which takes him through to 2017, it is possible that the compensation for his ‘resignation’ will be very handsome indeed.
The 45-year-old Catalan is the most successful Barcelona coach of all time and has also taken his current club Bayern Munich on to win two German league titles although he has had no success in the Champions League with them, and made it very clear that he wanted a new challenge with a British club.
Despite the fall in oil revenues experienced over the past year, the owners of Manchester City are still immensely wealthy and, if allowed to be involved in building his own team, the combination of his tactical brilliance and their money is almost guaranteed to take the club to a new level.
There have been rumours that City rivals, Manchester United were interested in replacing their under fire manager, Dutchman Louis van Gaal with Guardiola so that may be one less pressure on him, although the ‘special one’ may still be lurking in the background.