Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Man City confirm Guardiola as next coach

Published:Tuesday | February 2, 2016 | 2:00 AM
Guardiola

MANCHESTER, England (AP):

Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have long been considered a likely match: football's most admired coach and a club with massive spending power seeking to become the dominant force in Europe.

It's been four years in the making, but finally, they'll be united.

City announced yesterday that Guardiola will take over as manager on a three-year contract starting next season, furthering the English team's goal to be a global superpower.

Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini, who - minutes before City's announcement - ended a pre-game news conference by saying that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season.

The news was sudden but not unexpected.

Guardiola announced in December that he would be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of this season after three years in charge when he enhanced his status as football's most sought-after coach. Then, last month, he said that his next job would be in the English Premier League.

City was always his most likely destination. Backed by Abu Dhabi cash since 2008, the club has been transformed into the most successful in England of recent times, winning two league titles and two cup competitions since 2011 and assembling an all-star squad including players like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure, and Kevin De Bruyne.

"In recent weeks, (City) has commenced and finalised contractual negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become head coach for the 2016-17 EPL season onwards," City said in a short statement. "These negotiations were a re-commencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012."

That was the year Guardiola quit Barcelona, after winning 14 trophies in four years as coach, and took a 12-month sabbatical. During his time off, he agreed to join Bayern for the start of the 2013-14 season and has gone on to win back-to-back German league titles, the German Cup, and both the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.