Watchdog Media Cooperation

Guardiola to replace Pellegrini as Manchester City’s next manager

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Manchester City beat off competition from rivals Manchester United and Chelsea to land Pep Guardiola, Goal can confirm.

City finally lifted the lid on the biggest open secret in football on Monday afternoon when Manuel Pellegrini revealed, in dramatic circumstances, that he will be leaving the Etihad Stadium at the end of June, rather than seeing out his deal until summer 2017.

The club quickly followed their manager’s lead by revealing in a short statement that Guardiola will, as widely expected in the football community, take over when his time at Bayern Munich comes to an end at the season’s end.

 

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It had long been expected that Guardiola would leave Bayern, even before he announced his intentions to the media shortly before Christmas.

He had been linked with a number of top clubs around Europe, including Real Madrid, the arch rivals of his first club Barcelona, in recent months as football’s top decision makers tried to tempt the vastly successful coach.

City, however, publicly admitted on Monday that they first tried to lure Guardiola to the Etihad in 2012, and it is no secret that they have worked towards a deal with the Catalan at various points since.

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That level of interest, as well as his close ties with City sporting director Txiki Begiristain, meant that City were always in the driving seat to land the most sought after coach of a generation.

And it is believed that both United and Chelsea were two of the clubs to have approached him in recent weeks and months, only to be spurned.

It was reported in December that United had no interest in replacing Louis van Gaal with Guardiola, but City sources have indicated that the Red Devils were indeed keen to sound out the former midfielder about replacing Van Gaal, who has become increasingly under fire since the back end of 2015.

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