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1 Feb, 2016 15:07

Manchester City announce Pep Guardiola as next manager

Manchester City announce Pep Guardiola as next manager

Manchester City have announced that the current Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola will join the club on July 1, replacing the incumbent Manuel Pellegrini.

Guardiola will join City on a three-year contract, with the Manchester club confirming that the Spaniard had signed the deal.

In December, after several months of speculation, Bayern Munich confirmed that Guardiola would be leaving the club at the end of his three-year contract in the summer of 2016, with Carlo Ancelotti signed on to replace him. Later in the same month, Guardiola confirmed his departure and expressed his desire to manage in England next season.

Manchester City have been interested in signing Guardiola for several years, and the club have former Barcelona personnel on their books in chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain – both of whom Guardiola worked with during his years at Barca.

Current City manager Manuel Pellegrini had signed a two-year contract extension in August 2015, but the club was always expected to move for Guardiola, with the Chilean to make way regardless of the contract situation.

A statement from Manchester City on Monday said:

“Manchester City can confirm that in recent weeks it has commenced and finalised contractual negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become MCFC Head Coach for the 2016/17 EPL season onwards.

“The contract is for three years. These negotiations were a re-commencement of discussions 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, 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.”

On Monday, Pellegrini ended his press conference for the game against Sunderland by taking time to discuss the situation:

“Before I finish, I want to tell you I have talked with the club and I will finish my contract on the original date.

“I signed for one year more but with the clause that the club or me can choose not to use that now. So I finish here 30 June, so there is not the speculation.

“The club are not doing anything behind me, I knew this one month ago, but I don’t think it’s good to have rumor or speculation about these things, so I prefer to finish today, which I why I have told the players and I have told the press. I also spoke to the club two weeks ago and said that I would do it.”

City will now presumably look to finalize summer transfers deals for players already earmarked by Guardiola.